FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 16, 2014
Public Information Officer: Erin Shoe – (704) 920-1345
Funds support year-long training program to strengthen ability to tackle substance use.
Kannapolis, N.C. – The Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition will increase its capacity to reduce and prevent substance misuse and abuse with funding from the North Carolina Coalition Initiative (NCCI).
The Substance Use Coalition is a task force of Healthy Cabarrus, a community health initiative at Cabarrus Health Alliance with the mission of uniting and mobilizing community partners to identify and address health needs in the community. The Coalition includes representatives from mental health, public health, healthcare, education, law enforcement, youth, and other concerned community members. Cabarrus County has witnessed an increase in the number of unintentional medication and drug-related poisoning deaths from 2 in 1999 to 19 in 2010.
The NCCI Coordinating Center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has announced the selection of a fourth cohort of communities that are slated to receive funding. Cabarrus County is one of seven communities across the state that has been selected to receive grants of up to $27,700 and participate in a year-long, nationally renowned training program to strengthen their ability to tackle substance use in their communities, a critical public health problem.
The NCCI is funded by a N.C. General Assembly appropriation through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services to support local substance abuse coalitions. The coordinating center provides direction and technical assistance.
The 2014-2015 awardees are:
Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition, Cabarrus
Columbus County Health Department, Columbus
Burke Substance Abuse Network, Burke
Polk County Health Coalition, Polk
Madison Community Health Consortium, Madison
Healthy Haywood/ Prescription for Safety, Haywood
Guilford Coalition for Medication Education Detection and Safety (GC M.E.D.S.), Guilford
“NCCI coalitions will receive extensive training and technical assistance from expert trainers to help them determine the issues relevant to their community and the best strategies to use,” said Mark Wolfson, Ph.D., NCCI’s executive director. Wolfson is a professor of social sciences and health policy at Wake Forest Baptist with extensive experience conducting research on substance use, with a particular focus on the role of community and organizational factors in understanding alcohol and tobacco use by youth.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), based in Alexandria, VA, is a national partner in this effort and will provide a total of three weeks of intensive training over the next 12 months to help prepare the coalitions for the work ahead.
This is the fourth round of funding provided to local coalitions by NCCI since its inception in 2008. Wolfson said that “the NCCI evaluation shows that the first, second and third group of coalitions substantially strengthened their ability to implement evidence-based strategies designed to reduce substance abuse.” This included work to promote law enforcement and institutional and public policies related to drinking and driving, youth access to alcohol, and misuse of prescription drugs in local communities.
Another measure of NCCI’s success is the degree to which community’s capacity has been enhanced. Local communities are engaging to address local conditions involving substance abuse. This initiative is helping to build momentum across the state to promote community mobilization efforts and build great partnerships.
The NCCI’s mission is to reduce substance abuse in communities by building the capacity of community coalitions to implement evidence-based, population-level prevention strategies. More information can be found on its web site at www.nc-coalition.com. To learn more about the Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition, visit http://www.cabarrushealth.org/305/Substance-Abuse.