Building Communities

communities4Overall our community is healthy. However 8 – 10% of our community members across the state are addicted to alcohol and/or some other drugs. Each year, drug abuse and addiction cost NC taxpayers $12.4 billion in preventable health care, law enforcement, crime, lost work productivity, premature death, disability, unemployment, homelessness and many other social problems (NC IOM 2009).

Working with communities, ADS strives to increase awareness and to change public policy, community conditions, norms, and institutions to promote health and reduce risk. Community services include:

  • Health/community fairs
  • Workshops and Presentations
  • Workplace Wellness Trainings, exhibits during lunch
  • Media – billboards, buses, social media
  • Merchant Education and Training – reduce teen access to tobacco products and underage drinking
  • Collaborations – Medicine Drop Events, community town hall meetings, smokefree venues
  • Services provided in churches and other faith organizations, businesses, government entities, criminal justice offices, etc.

7 Strategies for Community Change

  1. Provide information (increasing awareness of the dangers of drugs, health promotion, counter advertising, social host liability laws)
  2. Build skills (stress and anger management, goal setting, decision making)
  3. Provide support (teaching that most teens don’t use drugs to support a continued drug free lifestyle)
  4. Enhance access/reduce barriers (also reducing access/enhancing barriers) ( medicine take back events, merchant education to reduce teen access to tobacco)
  5. Changing consequences (increased fines for selling tobacco or alcohol to underage youth)
  6. Change physical design of the environment (smoke free parks, reducing cup size for alcoholic drinks sold at community events)
  7. Modify policies and broader systems (setting limits on the amount of pain killers prescribed in Emergency Departments)

For more information or to schedule a program, contact: