Do you worry about the amount of drug use in and around the area you live in? If so, there are several ways to fight drug use in your community. While there are different approaches to this, the first step is making sure you understand the type of drug problem that is going on in your area.
In addition to learning about the type of drugs being used and how large the problem is understanding the risk of drug abuse is key as well. According to drugabuse.gov, when assessing the level of risk with kids who engage drug use, you should follow the following suggestions:
- Measure the nature and extent of drug abuse patterns and trends.
- Collect data on risk and protective factors throughout the community.
- Identify prevention efforts already under way to address the problem.
Collecting data and studying trends can be time consuming. It's something that the entire neighborhood should be involved with. Once you've pinpointed the type of drug problems going on and the risk involved, you can then select a method that will help best prevent substance abuse issues and address the current problems. If someone in your community needs help fighting addiction, call Legacy Freedom for outpatient alcohol and drug rehab services.
Is Your Community Ready to Fight Drug Abuse?
Once you've got a good understanding of the type of drug issues going on in your community, it's time to decide whether or not your community is ready to take on this fight to one, eliminate drug use and two, prevent it from happening in the future. Additional steps should be taken to ensure this will be something your area is ready for.
As you find that your community is ready to take this fight on, it's time to plan. Hold a community meeting. Talk with leaders of the area. Meet with organizations within your neighborhood. Work with them to brainstorm ideas and resources as well as research programs that are already working for others.
Also according to drugabuse.gov, communities begin the process of fighting and preventing drug use with a review of current prevention programs that will determine the following:
- What programs already in place within the community?
- Were strict scientific standards used to test the programs during their development?
- Are the programs able to help with community needs?
- Do the programs have problems sticking to what they were designed for?
- How many at-risk youth members of our community will be reach by these programs?
If you're unsure where to start reaching out in the community, consider the following:
- Youth workers
- Traders and business associations
- School health nurses
- Residents groups, including neighborhood watch and progress associations
- Primary health care practitioners
- Police Department
- Non-government health and human service agencies
- Local councils
- Indigenous workers
- General practitioners
- Cultural and linguistic diversity workers
- Community development and health promotion workers
- Alcohol and drug workers
It's up to parents, educators and community leaders to ensure that the fight against drug use is one that works. Parents are able to work with each other. They can increase awareness about drug abuse. They can also reach out for alcohol and drug rehab and solicit opinions of programs that will help.
Educators have an advantage that parents do not. They're able to work with the school system and current programs that are already in place to educate children and teens about drugs. They can use these programs to identify prevention interventions and implement them into the community.
Once brainstorming and awareness begin taking place, the community leaders can step in and create groups that will help plan the battle and prevention against drug abuse. They'll be able to use the resources, research and information to plan events, activities and other events that help get the word out.
These measures in preventing adolescent drug use in the community work. In a 1994 Institute of Medicine report, a model was created to ensure wining against drug abuse and includes the following:
- Promotion — These strategies are designed to create environments and conditions that support behavioral health and the ability of individuals to withstand challenges. Promotion strategies also reinforce the entire continuum of behavioral health services.
- Prevention — Delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, these interventions are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as underage alcohol use, prescription drug misuse and abuse, and illicit drug use.
- Treatment — These services are for people diagnosed with a substance use or other behavioral health disorder.
- Recovery — These services support individuals’ abilities to live productive lives in the community and can often help with abstinence.
Getting the Word Out
Public education is the best way to get the word out and ensure awareness. Use public service announcements (PSAs) on the following:
- television, radio
- easy to remember slogans
You can also use social media marketing as well. This will target a select group. Adolescents use social more than we realize and this is a great way to get their attention. Use Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You'll be able to promote healthy activities, public education and messages geared toward drug abuse prevention.
Using the media can also help. We often assume that the media is nothing but negativity. While that can sometimes be the case, it's not always so.
According to samhsa.gov, media advocacy attempts to shape the way social issues are discussed in the media. The goal is to build support for changes in public policy. By working directly with outlets to change both the amount of coverage the media provides and the content of that coverage, media advocates hope to influence the way people talk and think about a social or public policy.
We also need to take time to use the negative components of the media as a learning tool. We can use it to teach them how not to act. Let the actions of others be a lesson.
We hope this information helps you in your fight against community drug abuse. Our homes are our center. It's a place we feel safe and secure. That's why it's our job to ensure our children have a place to live, play and be safe as well. Good luck in your battle against drug abuse. If you need more information or have a loved one that's struggling with drug abuse, contact Legacy Freedom.
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If you’re suffering from an addiction and need help, consider Legacy Freedom Treatment Centers and out alternative treatment options. Our success rate is higher than traditional rehab facilities that require you to stay in-house until the program is complete. We know how hard it is to beat addiction. That’s why we’ve come up with a better, more successful program that will help. Addiction can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and mad at the world. However, know that you are not alone. Legacy Freedom is here to help you get back on track to a happier, healthy life with proven alcohol and drug rehab services.