1st QUARTER REPORT— 10/15/19
The Family Connection coordinator directed the UR Choice, UR Destiny Teen Maze, held September 16 – 19, 2019, that served students from Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, and Walker counties. This event teaches sophomore youth about the dangers of risky behaviors. The goal of Teen Maze is to explain preventative measures students can take to help lessen and stop their chances of associating in these risky or dangerous behaviors. Colonnade Theater youth participated in the theatrics of different stations—crash scene and emergency room. There were 350+ volunteers from all four counties, serving the approximately 1,200 students that attended. EMS, Law Enforcement, Mental Health, Public Health, Consumer Counseling, Entrepreneurship, DFCS, DJJ, Funeral Homes, clergy, SA Treatment Centers, and five school systems, as well as individual volunteers were involved in the implementation of the Teen Maze. The Key note speakers were former DUI inmate, Chris Sandy; Eric Krug, who suffered traumatic brain injury as a result of a DUI wreck; and magician Jaden Maxwell, whose father was killed by a drunk-driver. There were 497 Teen Maze Surveys collected at the event and entered to Survey Monkey. This is an important evaluation tool that allows us to get instant and direct information from the sophomores. The survey contains questions about prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and vaping. The data will be used to develop future Catoosa Prevention Initiative (CaPI) strategies as well as for Teen Maze planning.
At the substance use disorder station, administered by mental health professionals, the question was asked to the students, “If you could change one thing about your life, what would it be?” Students responded on a post-it note and attached them to the wall. The top two answers were, “my attitude” and “my relationship with my parents.” These responses re-affirm the need for the initiative to reach more parents with our strategies, and encourage more interaction between them and their children about the use of substances and other consequences that come with it.
The CaPI staff and Center for Hope prepared and successfully incorporated individuals who are in substance abuse recovery as speakers at the Substance Abuse Station for this year’s maze. Financial requests for sponsorship of the Teen Maze were successful. The Walker County Commissioner donated $7,500 and a $10,000 sponsorship from the Catoosa Sheriff’s Department was given again this year. An additional $5,000+ were given by various community groups and businesses! All five Schools Systems supported the maze and local businesses also contributed food, equipment, materials and services. The goal of sustainability grows with each passing year of the UR Choice, UR Destiny Teen Maze.
The Family Collaborative coordinator organized Catoosa Kids Day again this year for Thursday, August 1st at Tiger Creek Elementary School. There were 38 booths from area agencies, organizations and non-profits set up for the community including a Catoosa Prevention Initiative booth by the ASAPP assistant and GEN-Rx coordinator. This event saw around 300 people of all ages. ASAPP gave out marijuana and alcohol addiction information at Catoosa Kids Day. The GEN-Rx coordinator explaining the importance of locking away prescription medications and using drug drop boxes to safely dispose of any unused/old prescription medications. He gave 2 medicine safes away to families in need.
The Catoosa Family Collaborative Annual Kickoff meeting was August 22 at Heritage High School. There were 107 Collaborative members in attendance! The Coordinator showed a PowerPoint presentation of the previous year’s accomplishments and covered data prepared by the Local evaluator.
The Family Connection coordinator and three Collaborative members attended the Georgia School on Addiction Studies (GSAS) in Savannah, GA the last week of August. GSAS provided classes teaching about effects of alcohol and drugs on the brain/body when abused/misused. This information helps coordinators better explain to people the harm and seriousness of substance abuse in our community. The highlight of the conference were the keynote speakers, Steven Herndon—former Atlanta Falcon player, and Carnie Wilson—of the musical duo Wilson-Phillips. Ms. Wilson turned her life around after many years of drug and alcohol abuse.
The ASAPP and GEN-Rx Project Directors attended the Mid-year CADCA conference in Dallas, Texas July 14-18. The Theme was “Transforming Communities, The Power of Prevention.” There were seven areas of emphasis for the training sessions content: Coalition Leadership, Cross-Sector Collaboration, Evaluation and Research, Marketing and Communications, Policy and Advocacy, Sustainability, and What’s Trending. The GEN-Rx director also attended DBHDD’s Data and Media Summit held in Macon, GA on August 5th & 6th. This summit was extremely valuable because it helped better understand data/reporting while also explaining the different/best ways to reach your citizens for prevention campaigns.
The ASAPP coordinator trained 5 new facilitators from Georgia Hope to teach Project Success classes in the middle schools. Each new facilitator was provided with core classroom instruction, power point presentations, pre and posttests, along with supplemental materials for various activities. Counselors from the schools are currently working with these facilitators to schedule the new classes. We want to get at least one session in before the holidays begin. For this reporting period, additional Drug and the Law brochures were delivered to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Catoosa County, NWGA Healthcare, The Catoosa Board of Commissioners, Catoosa Juvenile Court, and all middle school counselors and be distributed by the Project Success facilitators. Others who received these brochures include: The Catoosa Health Department, The Center for Hope, Catoosa Library, and Primary Health Care. Lastly, each of the 1207 sophomores that participated in the Teen Maze received a copy of this brochure in their Teen Maze bag. Vaping, alcohol, and marijuana fact “wheels” were sent to all of the counselors of the middle schools.
The Under the Influence electronic billboard at the intersection of Lafayette Highway and Battlefield Parkway reached 110,000 weekly. It was modified for a summer theme and ran through the first week of September: The campaign name is I Am Under 21:
- I am Above The Influence of smoking…
- I am Above The Influence of vaping…
- I am Above The Influence of drinking…
- I am Above The Influence of doing drugs…
- I am ↑ The Influence
Posters were also designed with the same message and have been distributed through the Family Connection meetings. Advertisements were inserted in Football Programs, and yearbooks. ATI showed up at the Catoosa Kid’s Day event in August and PSA’s were designed and ran on UCTV-3 throughout the football season as well. Pledges were designed and distributed in the Substance Use Disorder station at the Teen Maze where approximately 350 were collected.
GEN-Rx has placed a total of 7 billboards throughout Catoosa County displaying the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department and Fort Oglethorpe Police Department drug disposal boxes. September saw the highest amount of prescription drugs destroyed—105 pounds, for Catoosa County Sheriff over the past year! September also provided a combined total between both departments of 167 pounds! Over the past three months Fort Oglethorpe Police Department and Catoosa County Sheriff’s Department have destroyed a combined total of 342 pounds of prescription drugs.
The GEN-Rx coordinator distributed fiscal year 2019’s final medicine safe numbered 150! Because of this monumental number and it being the final safe of the year the we wanted to do a special giveaway that would help bring new members to the Catoosa Prevention Initiative Facebook page. The coordinator used information gained directly from the DBHDD Media and Data Summit to market the giveaway on Facebook and to successfully get “shares”, “likes”, “comments”, and “reach”. Because of the newly learned methods the post received the most interaction of any post previously posted to the page. The post saw 28 likes, 27 shares, 41 comments, and reached 1,907 people. With help from partners, the coordinator distributed a total of 57 medicine safes to families in need over the past 3 months.
GEN-Rx is continuing to partner with pharmacies’ and physicians’ offices to distribute pharmacy bags. These businesses and offices are located in the cities of Ringgold and Fort Oglethorpe. These bags display what can be dropped off in the drug disposal box while also explaining the locations of drop off boxes. A total of 1,443 bags with cards have been distributed over the past 3 months.
Nurturing Parenting classes started in June. Parenting classes continued through July and into the beginning of August. Graduation was held on August 8th where 10 parents received a medicine safe, $30 Wal-Mart gift card, and certificate of completion. The GEN-Rx coordinator prepared and oversaw the classes. A parent (who is a recovering addict) that graduated from our parenting class informed the coordinator that she is continuing to do what is needed to better her and her children’s life by enrolling at GA Northwestern to begin her Medical Billing and Coding degree for fall classes. The Catoosa Learning Center walked her through the process of enrollment and sending her transcript to the school.
There were 434 students from Catoosa County schools that received the GEN Rx Laws About Prescription Drug Cards during Teen Maze. These cards will help the students better understand basic laws, consequences, and grey areas involving prescription medications. PC distributed 50 L.A.P.D. cards at a TCAD collaborative meeting in Gainesville, GA on September 12th. Total of 799 cards have been distributed over the past 3 months.