Anti Drug Coalitions and Communities

Over the last several years there are a couple of different national evaluations that have helped define what a successful strong Anti Drug coalition is. These are the national organizations that have helped provide leadership, funding and grants as well as setting the tone and helping set the national anti drug coalition’s agendas. They have been instrumental in creating and supporting a variety of different Drug addiction Treatment Programs.

One of the organizations is Fighting Back. This program is an extension of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation initiative. Together they have challenged and inspired many communities to take back their neighborhoods, to fight the Drug Addiction and illegal drug usage that has largely damaged many cities and communities across America.

Their approach has been fraught with mixed results, but their leadership and enthusiasm has led to some programs achieving measured results. One of the issues that have been exposed in the process is that many neighborhoods and coalitions across the United States have focused not on gathering information and data, and a systematic approach, but instead on making decisions based on politics, or other issues. This has caused a number of promising coalitions to be unsuccessful, and to fail.

The Fighting Back program has a number of stated objectives. These are to make less the effects of illegal drugs and alcohol on health of citizens, to reduce the effects of illegal drugs on crime and employment, and to reduce the number of injuries and deaths associated or caused by illegal drug and alcohol usage. Many coalitions and neighborhood groups have focuses on trying to create local Drug Addiction Treatment Programs.

There are many different coalitions around the United States that have attacked each of these three objectives, and some have had success on one or two of them, but very few have had broad based success on all three areas.

This does not mean there have not been some dramatic successes due to the Fighting Back program. In some areas, different coalitions have succeeded in getting grants for Youth Drug Addiction Treatment programs, others have been creative with Drug Addiction Treatment Programs that help deal with public intoxication, eliminating alcohol sales to minors, crime and prostitution.

Other coalition programs that have attempted some or all of the Fighting Back goals have been successful in erecting Billboards near major freeways that target alcohol use and tobacco sales, and while not meeting all three goals have met one or two of the Fighting Back objectives.

The other leading evaluation has been by CSAP, who have worked to evaluate communities and coalitions around the world. In the different communities, that partnership with the national CSAP program it was discovered that overall drug usage was slightly less than in areas that had no programs at all. This tends to lend credence to the success of a Drug addiction Treatment Program approach to solving illegal drug use and drug addiction. About 33 percent of the partnership neighborhoods and CSAP programs had significant program success in at least one or more age groups that featured some type of Drug addiction Treatment Programs.

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