Drug free coalition sets its goals | SummitDaily.com

Drug free coalition sets its goals

KIMBERLY NICOLETTIsummit daily news
Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Natalie Boyer, left, Becky Richmond (pink), Peggy Kastberg, center, and Mary Lou Taylor meet in a small group to discuss priorities for the Drug-Free Communities Coalition Tuesday morning at the community center.

FRISCO – A group of concerned citizens armed with a $300,000 grant and a mission to cut underage drinking and illegal drug use in Summit County is ready to get to work on solutions.Since May, about 30 members of the Summit County Drug-Free Community Coalition have met to talk about how to reduce drinking and illegal drug use. Now they’re showing progress.”We’ve been doing a lot of process work, and people sometimes think that’s tedious, but (Tuesday) we saw that people are ready to get to work,” said Daphne Schroth, director of Summit County human services. “The real meat of our coalition is beginning now,” she said. “We have good data and a sense of our needs. Now it’s time to get started.”

The coalition began with a steering committee last March and held its first public meeting in May. Its main goal is to reduce substance abuse through mentoring programs and social norm campaigns as well as creating the coalition. Research shows coalitions reduce substance abuse in communities, Schroth said.The federal government gave the grant to Summit County because the county’s incidences of youth drug and alcohol use are higher than the national norm, according to the Colorado Youth Survey.The grant gives the coalition $300,000 a year for three years and is in the beginning of its second year for funding.

The coalition met for two hours Tuesday morning to identify the main goals and outcomes of six priorities or focus areas. Small groups came up with the following preliminary goals:– Informing policy makers about substance abuse issues so they can create policies to support healthy kids;– Educating and supporting parents through groups as well as finding out what parents need most;– Teaching kids and parents about substance abuse, possibly through groups;

— Offering alternative activities that teens plan to change perceptions and attitudes related to substance abuse;– Coming together as a community to implement consistent consequences for underage drinking and illegal drug use; and– Finding ways to evaluate and measure the coalition’s success. The coalition is still looking for volunteers, particularly from members of the business community, media, religious or fraternal organizations and civic of volunteer groups.Summit Prevention Alliance coordinates the coalition.

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