Prevention and treatment are critical to any successful substance abuse strategy. Preventing drug misuse in the first place has been shown to be the most cost effective and beneficial. At the other end is treatment, which can be expensive and complex.
There are many ways to prevent substance abuse.
Below are a few trusted resources to guide you.
Office of National Drug Control Policy
Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention
DSHS - Alcohol/Drug Prevention Services
Washington State Prevention Summit (youth-oriented annual conference)
Thurston County TOGETHER
The University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute offers a number of treatment resources on the ADAI web site. A number of outstanding treatment centers in Washington and across the U.S., both non-profit and for-profit are too numerous to list here but with a quick web search you will likely find many choices in your area.
By Steve Freng
Northwest HIDTA Prevention/Treatment Manager
(Reprinted from January, 2013 NW HIDTA Newsletter)
“The only thing constant in life is change.” And the ability to change can be essential for ongoing success and achievement. One of the most gratifying and remarkable aspects of the community of partner agencies sup-ported by Northwest HIDTA resources is the manner in which they respond to the needs of their communi-ties and do so in a nimble and innovative way. Particularly in the case of our prevention partners, a synerget-ic relationship with their communities is an important part of their mission.
Over the years, communities throughout the Northwest HIDTA region have witnessed the passage of several major trends and issues. The methamphetamine pandemic of the late 1990’s (and its recent resurgence); the increase in the availability and abuse of licit and illicit opiates; and the very recent and abrupt change in the legal status of marijuana in Washington State are examples. And in each instance, Northwest HIDTA partner agencies have reacted, adapted and contributed to their communities’ responses to such events.
Change can also occur in a manner that precludes any positive response. In the case of specific agencies, any kind and number of events can occur. An agency’s Board of Directors can significantly alter its mission or its focus. A new Director can prompt staff and program changes. Or several funding sources can lapse or col-lapse, leaving an agency with little choice but to close its doors. All have happened to Northwest HIDTA partner agencies.
As is now the case with our prevention project in Cowlitz County. For nearly ten years, the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments has served in the capacity of our partner agency, utilizing Northwest HIDTA funding to support the work of the Cowlitz Substance Abuse Coalition and the Cowlitz Meth Action Team. Among the projects and activities undertaken over the years have been a Social Norms campaign in a local school district; the implementation of a drug take-back program in collaboration with local law enforce-ment agencies; programs focused on Drug Endangered Children; and active collaboration in projects initiated by other community groups, councils and organizations.
Unfortunately, a principal funding source – dependent on State resources – severely reduced its support ear-lier this year, resulting in the discontinuation of the Coalition and the Meth Action Team. Typically, the Northwest HIDTA Prevention/Treatment Advisory Committee then strives to find a successor in the same county – or may have to look to other counties in the region to identify a partner. In this case, the optimal alternative was found: Cowlitz County Sheriff, Mark Nelson, stepped up and proposed a very worthy and laudable project. In collaboration with the Cowlitz county Juvenile Department, the Sheriff will support the provision of Functional Family Therapy (FFT) to at-risk youth and their families.
FFT will be offered to youth who are already involved in the juvenile justice system and are assessed to be at-risk for a range of dangerous behaviors. They and their families will participate in the 12-week program which is delivered primarily in the home setting. The overall program will include: court involvement, risk screening, case management services, the FFT intervention, and referrals to appropriate service and/or educational resources. During the first full year of service delivery, the project expects to serve at least 13 youth and their families.
The Northwest HIDTA is gratified by the responsiveness demonstrated by Sheriff Nelson and his partners – and by the interest and leadership shown in doing so -- and looks forward to working with this collaboration well into the future. We are pleased to welcome this project into the community of Northwest HIDTA partners.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the Northwest HIDTA Prevention/Treatment Initiatives, Steve Freng can be contacted at 206.352.3603 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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