Since 1999, we have helped secure more than $10 million in funding to Southwest Missouri for substance abuse & violence prevention efforts.
We helped start alcohol compliance checks in Greene County and continue to identify funding sources to help local law enforcement continue this important environmental prevention strategy. Compliance rates have increased in this county from less than 50% in 2002 to 85% in 2013.
At the request of communities within our 21-county service area, we provide research and education on evidence-based policies and practices that are effective at reducing substance abuse at the community level. Often, this education and research has assisted those communities in passing new community ordinances. Examples of such ordinances resulting from education and research we have provided include Springfield’s initial smoking restrictions in restaurants, drink specials and minor’s access to bars restrictions, Cassville’s minor in possession by consumption and open house parties restrictions, and Branson’s mandatory alcohol server training and alcohol outlet density restrictions.
We provide technical assistance, training and support currently to more than 25 coalitions across Southwest Missouri to assist their efforts to reduce substance abuse and violence problems locally. As part of this support, we assist these coalitions with conducting needs assessments, provide training on effective prevention strategies, and help them develop, implement and evaluation prevention plans.
Our efforts have resulted in numerous state and national awards and recognition of successes in prevention efforts for both Community Partnership and our collaborative partners. Examples include:
- A 2006 Exemplary Substance Abuse Prevention Program Award at the National Prevention Network annual conference to Community Partnership’s ABC’s of Secondhand Smoke program
- A Missouri General Assembly resolution in 2009 to the Greene County Underage Drinking Task Force in recognition of its 10 years of effective underage drinking prevention efforts
- The 2010 CADCA Got Outcomes Coalitions of Excellence Award to the Taney County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team in recognition of its successes in reducing underage drinking-related problems
- Several coalitions in our region receiving federal Drug Free Communities grants.
We implemented a very successful Methamphetamine (meth) Awareness Program in Greene County beginning in 2005 that increased community awareness about the dangers of meth and meth labs. Some of the key strategies of this campaign included hundreds of presentations throughout the county (which we continue to provide) and a comprehensive media awareness campaign that resulted in thousands of TV and radio PSAs and over 1,000,000 hits to our website.
We assisted the Task Force on Gangs and Youth Violence in successfully addressing a rise in gang-related issues in the mid-2000’s. Those efforts included implementing a media campaign called “Be Strong – Not Violent”, bringing in a national expert on gang prevention to provide numerous presentations to schools and more than 500 people attending a town hall meeting, and creating a gang prevention toolkit that includes presentations the Task Force continues to provide in the community.
We have helped coalitions and other collaborative partners coordinate more than 150 community drug take back events since 2009 to help people properly and safely dispose of unused or expired medications. To date, those events within our service area have resulted in the collection and proper disposal of more than 17,000 pounds of medications.
We have provided Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) training for tens of thousands of alcohol retailer employees over the years. This evidence-based strategy has shown success at increasing participants’ awareness of Missouri alcohol sales laws and how to identify and avoid alcohol sales to minors. In Branson, employees who attend an approved RBS training passed alcohol compliance checks more often than employees who do not attend such training.
We have successfully applied for and implemented many state and federal prevention grants over the years. Included among those grants are the federal Drug Free Communities and Sober Truth On Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) grants, the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF-SIG), a sub recipient of the Missouri Department of Mental Health’s federal Emergency Response Grant, and several Missouri Foundation for Health and Ozarks Health Advocacy Foundation grants.
We helped establish the Greene County Minor Awareness Program (MAP). This diversion program provides minors who are 1st time offenders with an underage drinking offense an opportunity to participate in an assessment and educational program in lieu of criminal charges being filed, as long as the minor successfully completes the program and does not commit another underage drinking-related crime. To date, over 3,000 minors have participated in this program, which has shown <5% recidivism rate for those completing the program. Additionally, fees are collected from each participant that help fund ongoing alcohol enforcement efforts, such as compliance checks.
We coordinated a comprehensive substance abuse and violence prevention campaign in Joplin as part of the Missouri Department of Mental health’s federal Emergency Response Grant following the 2011 tornado. With many collaborative partners such as Ozark Center, Lafayette House, Preferred Family Healthcare and the Long Term Recovery Committee, we implemented a three-pronged prevention campaign that included:
- A comprehensive media campaign of more than 1,300 TV, radio, billboard and print ads directing those impacted by substance abuse and domestic violence to local service providers
- Several parent education programs to support those most impacted by the tornado, and
- A community-wide Developmental Assessment campaign including conferences, community presentations and more than a dozen of neighborhood block parties.
We have coordinated the School-based Prevention, Intervention, and Resource IniTiative (SPIRIT) program in Carthage schools for the past 13 years, in collaboration with the Carthage School District and the Missouri Department of Mental health, Division of Alcohol & Drug Abuse. Each year, we provide more than 2,000 sessions of best practice substance abuse prevention curricula to Carthage students, as well as other projects that help build a school climate optimal for learning. Since the program’s inception, we have helped the Carthage School District decrease substance abuse and disciplinary issues among its students while increasing their resistance skills and improving school performance.