Substance Use Prevention

The Healthy Cabarrus Substance Use Coalition launched in 2013 in response to the identification of substance use as a priority issue in the Cabarrus County 2012 Community Needs Assessment and the top priority in 2016. As a subgroup of Healthy Cabarrus, the Coalition’s mission is to mobilize partners to build a healthier community by developing and implementing prevention strategies to address youth alcohol, tobacco, prescription and other drug use.

Representatives from mental health, public health, healthcare, education, law enforcement, business, substance abuse prevention agencies, faith communities , youth, volunteer organizations and youth serving organizations work collaboratively to educate the community on safe storage and disposal practices as well as educate youth on healthy coping skills to deter them from underage drinking and misusing prescription medications. Since 2013, the coalition has worked with community members and organizations to receive grants from the North Carolina Coalition Initiative (NCCI), Project Lazarus and most recently the Drug Free Communities grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Coalition Work Groups:

Education

Strategies:

  • Engage local youth serving agencies to support prevention efforts.
  • Conduct community presentations to raise awareness around underage drinking and prescription medication misuse.
  • Conduct a youth led Sticker Shock campaign, in partnership with TRAIL youth mentors

Systems-level

Increase awareness of proper disposal and storage of prescriptions medications

Strategies:

  • Work with local partners to increase the number of permanent medication drop boxes.
  • Educate and provide information on safe storage and disposal.
  • Participate in medication take-back events.

Harm Reduction

Increase access to Naloxone and other harm reduction resources in Cabarrus County.

Strategies:

  • Distribute Naloxone to current users and at-risk individuals.
  • Provide Naloxone and Good Samaritan Law (SB20) information, including distribution at McLeod Addictive Disease Center and Daymark Recovery.
  • Promote and volunteer to support the Cabarrus Health Alliance Syringe Exchange Program.