The Carter County Drug Free Coalition coalition was organized in November of 2006 when a committee charged with the task of finding why school test scores were low determined that youth substance abuse was a major contributing factor. The group then convened a community meeting to review the latest school survey data. There were about 60 community members in attendance at that first community forum. These participants were asked to sign up to be a part of a Drug Task Force and begin efforts to address the identified problems. From the beginning, the focus of the group was what infrastructure to put in place and what strategies, programs, or efforts would make a difference. The coalition has benefited from a formal structure (the group is incorporated and working towards 501(c)(3) status that includes an Executive Committee, a broader coalition that includes representation from the twelve sectors, and component groups that focus on strategy/program implementation.)
The Carter County Drug Free Coalition receives technical assistance and consultation from the Director of ALERT Regional Prevention Center. The Director, Amy Jeffers, is a Certified Prevention Professional and a Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) State Incentive Grant (SIG) Master Trainer. Additionally, Jeffers serves as the manager of the Tobacco Prevention Enhancement Site providing tobacco specific technical assistance and training statewide.
One of the first trainings the coalition engaged in was six-hour Strategic Prevention Framework training. Over 40 members of the coalition participated in a complete delivery of the training. The coalition has received a number of additional trainings that include: Court Watch, Drug Court, inhalant prevention, and parents as partners in prevention. The youth component of the coalition has received Tobacco 101 training and Teens as Teachers of Tobacco Prevention training.
Local police department and Kentucky State Police officers attended the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators training. Their attendance at this national training had two-fold benefits. The officers were able to gain knowledge on the most up-to-date prescription medication diversion and abuse information and establish a network of communication between Carter County and Florida law enforcement.
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