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ADAPT Coalition makes strides during first year

September 27, 2011
By CATHY BROWNFIELD - Staff Writer , Salem News

From time to time folks have remarked about the good things in Columbiana County going unnoticed while attention focuses on chaos and crime. The communities in this county are coming out with strong support for the ADAPT (Alcohol, Drug Abuse Prevention Team) Coalition.

Representatives from service agencies in the county got together two years ago to see if there was a need for a drug and alcohol coalition. A survey was conducted and elicited more than 850 responses which indicated the greatest concerns in the county are underage drinking and marijuana use, in that order. As a result the ADAPT Coalition was formed explains Brenda Foor, ADAPT Coordinator.

"We did our homework first. We completed CADCA [Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America] training, a three-week certification course," she said "Then we applied for the federally-funded Drug-Free Communities Grant, which is a five-year grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policies, SAMHSA (Substance and Mental Health Services Administration) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services."

As the first year of the program winds down it has exceeded expectations with donations from about 60 business, law enforcement agencies, service organizations and individuals who are partnering with Family Recovery Center to support the goals of ADAPT: to create an environment that is healthy and free of harmful substance use and abuse; to motivate the community to promote and support healthy lifestyles for all residents; and to eliminate underage use and harmful use of drugs and alcohol.

Seven leadership teams formed from 11 school districts in Columbiana County: Beaver Local/East Liverpool, Crestview/ Columbiana, East Palestine, Leetonia/Salem, Lisbon, Southern/Wellsville, and United Local. Each team has an advisory board comprised of members of 12 sectors of the community: education, government, business, faith-based organizations, children's services organizations, health care, civic/volunteers, law enforcement, media, courts, parents and youth.

The leadership teams teach team members about causes and local conditions that support underage drinking and drug use in the county.

The teams serve as educators in their communities and collect information on affordable and accessible pro-social activities for youth and families in their community.

They determine the most effective ways of getting that information to the public, as well as promoting the reduction of underage drinking and drug use in their communities. Anyone age 14 and over is welcome to become involved in the ADAPT Coalition's activities.

"There are good things happening in the county that most people don't know about," Foor said.

Also under the ADAPT umbrella is a program, Young Adult Alcohol Prevention Initiative, geared toward 18-25-year-olds in the county. Allison Carroll was hired in July to coordinate this initiative that addresses underage drinking for the 18-20-year-olds and binge drinking for those age 21-25.

Other counties are addressing other issues. Through FRC, the focus is on alcohol consumption. Carroll says a survey was done and alcohol came out on top as the number one problem.

"We want to improve the knowledge of abuse of alcohol," Carroll said. "We are working toward changing the community's views about alcohol abuse because it is a problem in our county."

This program works with faith-based agencies, schools, Kent State University's Salem and East Liverpool campuses, the Columbiana County Career Center and Jobs and Family Services.

FRC promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs.

Now, the agency is working even harder to help meet the needs of the community that has said there is a problem with alcohol abuse and marijuana use that needs addressing.

For more information about ADAPT, contact Foor at Family Recovery Center, 330-424-0531.



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