The Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth received the “Coalition of Excellence Award for Intermediate Outcomes” on Feb. 7 from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America 29th Annual National Leadership Forum in National Harbor, Maryland.
The Coalition of Excellence award is part of the organization’s “Got Outcomes!” award program, which gives national recognition to exemplary coalitions that have clearly documented their impact on population-level substance abuse outcomes. This is the Riverhead coalition’s second consecutive Coalition of Excellence Award. Last year, it received the award for short-term outcomes.
This year’s awards were first announced in November, but presented at the forum this month in Maryland.
“We congratulate the Riverhead Community Coalition on the outstanding prevention outcomes they have brought to their community over the past several years,” Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s chairman and CEO General Arthur Dean said when the awards were announced.
The coalition’s efforts have led to a decrease in the percentage of adult [survey] respondents who report having unused, unwanted and expired medication in their home — from 52.4 percent in 2013 to 37.9 percent in 2018, Dean said.
The percentage of youth respondents who report that it is easy or very easy to get prescription drugs also decreased from 36.3 percent in 2008 to 27.48 percent in 2017, he said.
Riverhead Community Coalition for Safe and Drug-Free Youth was founded in 2006 in by Riverhead CAP and serves the communities that comprise the Riverhead Central School District.
In its application, the coalition demonstrated its efforts to address the issue of youth substance use by having youth members develop and record radio PSAs that educate community members about medication safety and the 24/7 medication drop box in the lobby of the Riverhead Police Department. It has partnered with law enforcement to increase and implement on-site medication take backs for senior communities and establish drive-through drug drop-off at take-back events. It has provided signage and resources for these events in Spanish and has partnered with doctors’ offices and pharmacies to raise awareness about proper medication safety and disposal.
Through these efforts, the coalition has collected and disposed of over 5,800 pounds of medication since 2014, reducing youth access to and abuse of these drugs, which prevents future opioid and heroin abuse.
“On behalf of our coalition members and the Riverhead community, we are honored to once again be recognized by CADCA for the positive outcomes we have achieved collaboratively,” said Riverhead CAP executive director Felicia Scocozza. Riverhead CAP is the lead coordinating agency for the Riverhead Community Coalition.
Source: Riverhead CAP press release
This story is free to read thanks in part to the generous support of readers like you. Keep local news free. Become a member today.