Reducing youth substance abuse through collective community prevention
We envision a community that empowers our youth to become productive, contributing members of society by:
Supporting Our Youth For A Safe, Strong and Healthy Community!
Lincoln County Unite for Youth Coalition was formed in 2008 as part of the Montana Community Change Project and in response to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action. At that time, nearly half of our high school seniors reported binge drinking in a two-week period – a rate higher than any of their peers across the state.
As a coalition, Unite for Youth has worked hard to engage the very difficult questions dealing with how we as a community – our beliefs, our attitudes and our actions – including long standing community norms, contribute to or support the problems we face as a result of youth substance abuse in Lincoln County. What we have found is not always easy, but we have learned that by keeping the health and safety of our community at the center of this conversation, we can arrive at consensus and through collaborative prevention efforts, begin to implement strategies shown to reduce youth substance use.
We are making progress; Lincoln County is no longer first in the state for underage binge drinking – the number of high school seniors reporting binge drinking in a two-week period has dropped from 48.5 – 34 percent. But there is much more to do; continued attention to these matters is extremely important. Our community continues to face above average rates of underage alcohol use – especially among younger students – and according to a 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, rates of prescription drug abuse have increased dramatically.
Together, with your input and support, positive sustainable community change in Lincoln County is possible. Consider the changes we have seen in the culture of seatbelt use and smoking over the past generation and the subsequent positive change in community health and safety. Your partnership with the Unite for Youth community coalition contributes an authentic representation of the pulse of our community. Your voice is vital to reinforcing our shared vision of a strong and healthy community, and your participation will help direct the implementation of proven strategies.
Partnering with the Unite for Youth demonstrates your organization’s commitment to strengthening the youth and families of our community and publically advocates for our shared vision and mission. A united community message will be achieved through cross-promotional advocacy for your organization in Unite for Youth media campaigns and event planning. Opportunities for formal participation in UFY work include employee memberships, focus groups and surveys for community risk assessments and initiative planning sessions- as well as a number of other ways that we can work efficiently, effectively, and creatively to have a positive impact on the health, wellness and safety of our community’s youth.