The Peer Assisted School Transition Project (PAST) curriculum was developed by Council staff in collaboration with the Office of Behavioral Health Prevention and Federal Grants (OBHPFG). The PAST Project is an age and stage appropriate peer helping program that seeks to build resiliency in youth. PAST works by using trained peer leaders to assist younger students across two transitional phases in school, 5th grade to 6th grade (middle school transition) and 8th grade to 9th-grade transition (high school transition). The peer leaders (6th and 9th-grade students) are placed in helping roles with younger students (5th and 8th-grade students) from feeder campuses. The student participants are referred to the program by an adult leader at the host school. Students may be linked to specific peer leaders based on the needs of the student and the skills of the rising. Peer leaders offer individual peer support to the younger students (rising peers) through a series of 14 weekly sessions that take place at the end of one school year (pre-transition phase) and at the start of the following school year (post-transition phase). The PAST curriculum is based on evidence-based strategies and practices and guides school personnel, peer leaders, and rising peers in building Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) skills and knowledge via increasing the strength of multiple protective factors and reducing the strength of and exposure to multiple risk factors. Topics discussed include risk and protective factors, normative beliefs related to drug use, discovering the consequences of drug use, resisting peer pressure, Georgia’s Good Samaritan Law, transitions from school to school.
The PAST Project is currently being implemented within Atlanta Public Schools. For more information on the PAST Project, please contact Afiya King at aking@ or (404) 223-2487. livedrugfree.org
The Alcohol Abuse Prevention Initiative (AAPI) funded by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) to prevent underage drinking by working in collaboration with local, regional and statewide partners in 5 of DBHDD’s 6 regions across the state to serve selected target communities. Each community served will be focusing on one of the two goals below:
AAPI will use the following 5 Steps of the Strategic Prevention Framework in order to achieve the above goals via interventions using the environmental strategy.
These 5 steps, guided by cultural competence and sustainability throughout, are:
The Council is working in collaboration with local, regional and statewide partners to serve selected target communities in the following counties:
Another part of this current effort involves a Regional Program Director from The Council on Alcohol and Drugs convening a Community Prevention Alliance Workgroup (CPAW). The members of this Workgroup, assess local needs via a primary survey and secondary data, build local prevention capacity via training and technical assistance, and develop an action plan. The CPAW consists of the following three sub-groups: Epidemiological (Epi) Workgroup, Planning and Operations Workgroup, and an Evaluation and Sustainability Workgroup.
The Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Initiative (GPDAPI) of The Council on Alcohol and Drugs (The Council) focuses on four priority areas (Education, Advocacy, Disposal, and Enforcement) and eleven deliverables.
The GPDAPI’s overall goal is to prevent and reduce prescription drug abuse in Georgia. The four priority areas listed above have been identified in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP’s) Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan (EPIDEMIC: RESPONDING TO AMERICA’S PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE CRISIS, ONDCP, 2011). Significant components of this year’s activities include the further development, promotion and implementation of the Georgia Rx Drug Abuse Prevention Collaborative and the Georgia Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Awareness Campaign: “Prescription Drug Abuse – It’s Not what the Doctor Ordered” which are using social media channels such as Facebook and YouTube.
Additional major deliverables for FY2015 are:
TCAD is working in collaboration with the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) and the Medical Association of Georgia Foundation’s (MAGF) ‘Think About It’ initiative which seeks to prevent prescription drug abuse in Georgia through their three priority areas, which are to advocate, educate, and secure. To learn more about MAGF’s ‘Think About It’ initiative please visit their website at www.mag.org/tai.
Funding for the GPDAPI is being provided by the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities/Division of Addictive Diseases/Office of Prevention Services and Programs (DBHDD/DAD/OPSP).
DBHDD/DAD/OPSP has contracted with The Council for services related to their GEN Rx (Partnership for Success II) grant awarded to them in 2013 by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health and Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Council is providing technical assistance and training regarding prescription drug abuse prevention to the three GEN Rx counties in Georgia: Catoosa, Gwinnett and Early Counties in the following ways:
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The SUPER Stop! program is a family based program that reduces alcohol and other drug use via empowering youth and providing the skills, attitudes and behaviors necessary to live a drug-free lifestyle. SUPER Stop! is a 5 session program for 11 to 18 year olds who are exposed to risk factors for having problems related to conflict violence, alcohol or drugs, and their parents or guardians. Populations to be served may come from the courts, middle and high schools, youth serving agencies, and other entities. Parents in the program learn about skills, attitudes and behaviors that help manage and support their children's drug-free lifestyle. Family-based programs (as compared to youth-only programs) have been shown by various Federal agencies (e.g. DHHS/DOE/OJJDP) to be more effective than youth-only programming. SUPER Stop! has eight hours of programing that focuses on conflict resolution, violence prevention, and the strong connection between alcohol, other drugs and violence. SUPER Stop! also provides alcohol and other drug prevention per se by addressing the risk and protective factors associated with substance use. The SUPER Stop! program mainly consists of interactive exercises which fully engage both parents and youth, often asking them to participate together as a team. Many times the eight hours spent in SUPER Stop! is the most time parents have spent with their children in many months. Interactive programming has been shown time and again to be more effective than didactic programming.
SUPER Stop! has been implemented within Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Juvenile Court, Henry County School System, Gordon County Juvenile Court, Cobb County Juvenile Court, Peachtree Charter Middle School, and Dunwoody High School.
For more information on the SUPER Stop! program, please contact Afiya King at aking@ or (404) 223-2487. livedrugfree.org
The Council was funded by the Governor’s Office for Children and Families to conduct a statewide underage drinking prevention campaign for youth ages 12-18 in 2013. The Council is partnered with Public Awareness Campaign.com, a public relations firm, to implement the campaign, titled Reel Change GA. The Council is currently seeking funding in order to continue this statewide prevention campaign.
Reel Change GA is a video competition, in which entrants can submit videos up to 30 seconds long detailing why they make the positive choice not to drink alcohol. Participants were able to can submit their videos on either the main website, www.ReelChangeGA.com, or on the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ReelChangeGA.
The Council provides monitoring for current programs in Fannin, Towns, Union, and White and serves as a liaison between the communities and DBHDD. The Council reviews monthly and quarterly progress reports from each community, submits quarterly progress reports to DBHDD, and processes monthly invoices and submits expenditure reports to DBHDD.
The Council also provides training and ongoing technical assistance during each of the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) steps and works with project staff as well as community members as they prepare SPF step reports and as they begin to implement the SPF steps in their communities.
Created through the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997, the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funds community coalitions working to reduce substance use among youth and to create safer and healthier communities. The ultimate goals for DFC community coalitions are to (1) reduce substance use among youth and (2) increase collaboration in the community to address substance use and associated problems. The DFC Support Program is funded and directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), with support from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The Council partnered with Floyd Against Drugs (FAD) in Floyd County and was a recipient of this DFC grant in October 2015. The grant is for 5 years in the amount of $125, 000 a year with the potential of 10 years.
The two main issues being addressed through the DFC grant are underage use of alcohol and marijuana. The Council and FAD will be implement environmental strategies that will: