Source: Sherman Publications

Fighting substance abuse

October 05, 2011

By Megan Bildner

Review Intern

Substance abuse will take a hit in Lake Orion, thanks to a Drug Free Community grant received by the North Oakland Community Coalition.

The drug-free communities program is directed by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and is in partnership with the Substance Awareness and Mental Health Services Administration.

Lake Orion will be one of the communities receiving a portion of a $625,000 grant over the next five years. This new funding will allow the coalition to mobilize the community to prevent and/or reduce youth substance abuse in a much larger way than has ever been done in the past.

Julie Brenner explained that The North Oakland Community Coalition’s task is to reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce such abuse among adults. The key is to address factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse, while promoting ways that minimize the risk of substance abuse, she said.

“Our mission is to promote a sense of belonging in a healthy environment free of alcohol abuse and substance abuse by uniting community members and developing community strengths for all,” Brenner said. “Our community fosters a responsible, drug-free environment where healthy decision-making is valued, and where individuals and families thrive.”

By the end of 2012, the NOCC hopes to reduce the 30-day use of alcohol by ninth and eleventh graders by 10 percent. During this time, they also hope 20 percent fewer seventh graders will report having drunk alcohol before age 11. Another coalition goal is to reduce the 30-day use of marijuana by eleventh graders by five percent. Specific plans are still in the works on how the NOCC will complete these tasks, Brenner said.

For more information on the NOCC please visit northoaklandcoalition.org.