COALITION FOR HEALTHY YOUTH
Originally founded as the Lancaster County Prevention Coalition in 1998, the Coalition for Healthy Youth is a community partnership of local and state agencies, the school district, local non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, and businesses.
The primary goals of the Coalition are to:
• promote policies, programs, and activities that enhance the health and well-being of local youth
• utilize data collection and community engagement to understand how and why youth engage in substance use and where they obtain those substances
• intervene early in the lives of youth to address and mitigate the risk factors that contribute to youth substance abuse in order to delay the initiation of alcohol and tobacco use
• implement research-based prevention and intervention services in order to combat youth substance abuse
• conduct community outreach efforts to change the societal acceptance and expectations surrounding youth substance abuse, and educate the public about the risks and dangers of youth substance abuse
• and to reduce and eventually eliminate the loss of life, wasted potential, and negative health and economic impacts associated with youth substance abuse in Lancaster County.
The Coalition was initially funded by the Drug Free Communities grant. Funding is currently provided primarily through the Sober Truth grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration and from our own annual conference fees.
A partnership of prevention efforts that addresses problem youth behavior in Lancaster County by assessing community needs and resources, raising awareness, and facilitating the implementation of evidence-based prevention services.
To eliminate problem youth behaviors in Lancaster County so that all youth can lead healthy and productive lives.
PROGRAMS AND ACTIVITIES
Sponsor and facilitate our annual, nationally recognized Prevention of Youth Substance Abuse in Rural Communities Conference at the University of South Carolina Lancaster.
Offer a Prescription Drug Take-back program at the local Sheriff’s Office.
Implement the ‘Take the U out of DUI’ drunk driving prevention campaign by using Safety Checkpoints and Party Patrols.
Collect data from local schools and households on the prevalence of youth substance abuse, the ease or difficulty of youth in obtaining recreational substances, and community attitudes towards substance use.
Create Business Covenant Partnerships to reduce underage access to alcohol and tobacco by ensuring distributors train their staff in avoiding selling recreational substances to minors, collecting information on how and where alcohol and tobacco are marketed and sold, and performing undercover Compliance Checks at retailers.
Conduct community engagement by: conducting local Town Hall Meetings to Prevent Underage Drinking, making presentations to local groups, utilizing social media, and promoting activities and publishing articles in local media.