Livingston County Community Alliance named one of Top 10 in nation

The Livingston County Community Alliance (LCCA) was named as one of the top 10 coalitions in the country for reducing past 30-day youth substance use.

This summer, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) developed new case studies from the most recent Drug-Free Communities (DFC) outcome data available. These case studies featured 10 coalitions that documented reductions in youth substance use across all grade levels (middle and high school) and all substances (alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drugs). These coalitions went through a rigorous training on CADCA’s model of Community Change. They implemented a comprehensive strategy that encompassed CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Community Change.

The 7 strategies and examples of the LCCA’s work:

1.  Providing information:
• Developed and held a Youth PhotoVoice project for county members to see what youth had to say about substance use and the importance of making educated choices
• Produced and distributed educational videos to raise awareness of underage drinking, prescription medication misuse and abuse, youth marijuana use and why youth choose not to use
• Developed MOST Social Norming Campaign, promoting the message that MOST Livingston County youth do not use drugs or alcohol

2. Building skills
• Held On Premise TIPS Training, responsible beverage service training
• Hosted Drugs 101 to educate parents on how to identify drug paraphernalia and how to talk to their youth about abstaining from substance use
• Provided education to local faith communities to promote responsible medicine disposal via the Big Red Barrel

3. Providing support
• Supported community collaboration by attending meetings and events of groups whose objectives include building protective factors and reducing drug misuse and abuse such as Project Lazarus, and Wake Up Livingston

4. Enhancing access/reducing barriers
• Developed and implemented Big Red Barrel Medicine Disposal events and locations in all police departments and the jail.

5. Changing consequences (incentives/disincentives)
• Alcohol Compliance Checks
• Visited retailers that have either passed or failed their compliance checks with resources and TIPS training

6. Change physical design
• Implemented project Sticker Shock

7. Modify and change policies
• Changed school policies to include proper medication disposal at the end of the school year
CADCA’s Public Policy Team interviewed coalition leaders to see what they had done across the 7Seven Strategies. We chose the best-of-the-best coalitions for our case studies. The LCCA was one of the coalitions selected.

Livingston County’s outcome data will be shared with members of Congress, both in Michigan and in other states. DFC Project Coordinator Sarah McGeorge said: “It takes a community to make changes like this and we are proud of the collaboration in our county.”

The LCCA will continue to work on preventing and reducing youth substance use.

“We invite our community members to join us at our monthly meetings, visit our Facebook page, or our website, drugfreelivingston.com and get involved,” said Megan Palmer, coalition coordinator, Megan Palmer.

The LCCA will continue to use the 7 Strategies for Community Change and work to reduce and prevent youth substance use and welcomes all community collaboration to keep up this good work.

The Livingston County Community Alliance is a county-wide, anti-drug coalition that aims to unite the Livingston County community to reduce and prevent youth substance use and to live a safe and drug free lifestyle. Our purpose is to connect the Livingston County community to establish and promote healthy community norms concerning the use of alcohol, drugs, and tobacco.

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The Livingston Post is the only locally owned, all-digital information and opinion site in Livingston County, Mich. It was launched by award-winning journalists who were laid off from the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus by Gannett Co. Inc. in 2009.

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