Laytonville Healthy Start’s Drug Free Communities Project is called EPIC – Environmental Prevention Strategies in the Community. The goals of EPIC are to:
- Reduce youth substance abuse of specifically, alcohol, prescription drugs and marijuana abuse
- Build and sustain Coalition capacity and community collaboration
- Reduce use of alcohol, prescription drugs, and marijuana in the community through Environmental Prevention Strategies*
- Engage community members to sustain the work that is being done, even after the Drug Free Communities project is no longer being funded. If we want Laytonville to be a healthy and safe place, the community has to be on board.
To achieve these goals, a Healthy Start Coalition composed of community members who represent various “sectors” of the community – schools, businesses, community organizations, and individuals – was formed, and a vision and mission for Drug Free Communities Project was defined.
*What are “Environmental Prevention Strategies?”
Environmental Prevention Strategies impact the community “system.” These strategies:
- Limit access to substances
- Reduce the negative consequences associated with substance use, such as Drunk/Drugged Driving crashes, sexual assaults, other risky behavior that impacts not only an individual, but a community
- Influences rules/regulations (policies) and focus on community norms – does our community really promote substance use?
- Positive changes lead to the altering of an unhealthy “environment”
Indicators That Substance Abuse is Being Reduced in Laytonville
- Youth, as indicated by the California Healthy Kids Survey, report that 30-day use of substances and access to substances decreases;
- As indicated by the Coalition survey to the community conducted during the summer months, the community reports seeing changes;
- There is a decline in incidences of suspension, expulsions and arrests due to student’s using or bringing substances to school; and
- We can “take a picture” that our community is more healthy, thanks to Environmental Prevention Strategies that the community accepts.
This website was developed, in part, under grant # 5H79SP018566-04 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, opinions and content of this publication are those of the authors and contributors, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions or policies of ONDCP, SAMHSA or HHS and should not be construed as such.