Efforts of a Michigan anti-drug coalition that have restricted minors' access to alcohol and have disposed of unused prescription medication have earned national recognition from the association Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA).
The Coalition for a Drug Free Muskegon County, established in 2004, will receive the Coalition of the Year award at CADCA's National Leadership Forum in February in Washington, D.C. The award is part of the CADCA National Coalition Institute's GOT OUTCOMES! awards, highlighting the accomplishments of community coalitions that use a data-driven community problem-solving process to improve population-level substance use outcomes.
The Muskegon County coalition's action team on alcohol has conducted education campaigns with school-age youth and parents and has trained alcohol retailers, and has seen a reported 16% reduction in ease of access to alcohol among youth. A prescription medication disposal program that the coalition launched in 2009 has collected more than 16,000 pounds of unused medications, with take-back events as well as permanent collection sites.
“Our data-driven action teams and innovative initiatives are reducing drinking and smoking by our youth,” coalition manager Laura Fitzpatrick said in a news release this month. “Combined with a community of dedicated volunteers and leaders, we are making a difference.”