Exemplary Awards for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies

2017 Exemplary Awards Program Winners

Congratulations to the 2017 Winners of the National Exemplary Awards for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies! Awards were presented during a luncheon ceremony on September 12, 2017 during the NPN Conference in Anaheim, California.

Evansville Medication Diversion Prevention Program

Building A Safer Evansville (BASE), a substance abuse prevention coalition, collaborated with nine key partners/sectors of the community to implement the Evansville Medication Diversion Prevention program. These community partners included the Evansville Police Department, Evansville Fire & EMS, Funeral Homes, the Evansville School District, Realtor’s, Creekside Place (Senior Center), Healthcare Offices, Section 8 Housing and Employers. The program was implemented for all community members residing in the unique service area of BASE, which is the Evansville, WI School District, with a total population of 13,268 persons. Before the Evansville Medication Diversion Prevention program was implemented in the community, there was a significant number of prescription medication overdoses, increased problems in the Evansville School District with prescription medication misuse and abuse and increased thefts of prescription medications from homes in the community. The results of the program are a decrease in 30-day use of prescription medications in middle school and high school students in Evansville as reported by the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS); an increase in the proper disposal of prescription medication in Evansville as reported by the Evansville, WI Police Department; an increase in proper storage and security of prescription medication in the community of Evansville as reported by BASE; and community members in Evansville no longer identifying prescription medication misuse and abuse as a problem as reported during BASE listening sessions and Focus Groups.

OK SPF-PFS Intertribal Consortium Initiative

The Oklahoma Intertribal Consortium (OIC) is a collaborative substance abuse prevention effort between four federally recognized American Indian Tribes in Central and Southwest Oklahoma and one of the national Tribal Epidemiology Centers (TEC). This initiative seeks to demonstrate that Tribes can successfully work together, under the structured guidance of a Native Managing Entity, to reduce underage drinking and prescription drug abuse and reduce substance abuse disparities among Natives. The OIC Tribal Partners are the Absentee Shawnee Tribe, Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, Chickasaw Nation, and the Comanche Nation. Each of the Tribes operates within a multi-county Tribal Jurisdiction and each has Tribal government that has supported the OIC from its creation in 2010. Population within our four Tribal Jurisdictions who are Native alone, or in combination with one or more races, but self-identify as Native totals approximately 102,000 individuals. Our target within that number is the subset of youth and young adults age 12 to 25. We have developed administrative tools to keep our programs on track and in compliance with federal funding guidelines while promoting positive Native social norms.

Regarding alcohol and prescription drug misuse, our internal evaluations show both behaviors to have substantially decreased among 343 Native youth tested from 2014 to 2015. Objective measurement of our progress from the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment survey also shows reductions in both these drug categories within our Tribal Jurisdictions. In 2016 among 10th grade Native Students surveyed, all four Tribal Jurisdictions decreased their alcohol use, and two were lower than the state average. Reductions in the nonmedical use of prescription drugs was quite pronounced for two Tribal Jurisdictions. The OIC model of collaboration between Tribes and epidemiologists at the Managing Entity works well and has resulted in positive behavior change about substance use among large numbers of Native youth. The work of the OIC has been recognized by our funding agency, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and was visited by the US Surgeon General in 2016.

Kids Like Us

Kids Like Us (KLU) is an innovative school and community-based prevention program for an underserved, high-risk population— children whose lives are directly impacted by familial substance abuse. This multiyear, multi-strategy program is offered by the Frederick County Health Department in partnership with Frederick County Public Schools at no cost to families starting when youth are in 4th grade. Selected students participate in a 12-session weekly program led by a KLU counselor and school counselor, and this continues 1-2 times monthly with this same group of students through 8th grade (or through 12th grade for students who are part of the new pilot high school program). Students receive targeted and developmentally informed information, skills and support.

During the 2016-17 school year, KLU’s community outreach resulted over 1,800 4th graders receiving prevention education and the opportunity for referral into the school-based program, which this year included 189 youth in 35 groups at a total of 24 elementary, middle and high schools. KLU’s implementation methods are directly informed by research-based prevention principles including protective factors, social-emotional skills, peer support, early identification and intervention, and arts integration. During the 2014-15 school year, 95% of the counselors believed that KLU helps raise awareness about the negative impact of family substance abuse on students. Furthermore, counselors reported that KLU students seemed happier and more upbeat; appeared less socially isolated and were making new friends; and were opening up to express or address important concerns.


2016 Exemplary Awards Program Winner

Congratulations to the Greenville County (South Carolina) Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Coalition for receiving the 2016 Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices, and Policies!

Greenville County (South Carolina) Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Coalition

In late 2011 to early 2013, the Greenville County (South Carolina) Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Coalition led community efforts during a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) demonstration grant. The Coalition worked throughout Greenville County with a primary goal to deny alcohol to individuals under 21 years old utilizing a multi-pronged approach. In previous research, high visibility enforcement campaigns (HVE) are an evidence-based approach that has demonstrated effectiveness in the areas of increased seat belt usage and decreased alcohol-related crashes. The HVE approach combines multiple waves of strict enforcement with strong media messages occurring at each enforcement wave. Researchers have shown that HVE reduces the issues associated with underage drinking and adult provision of alcohol to youth. The strategic plan developed by the Greenville Coalition for the grant merged source investigation with HVE waves occurring throughout the project period. The primary evaluation conducted by the Coalition focused on using community-specific monthly times-series data measures to compare pre-HVE mean alcohol crash data to post-HVE mean alcohol crash data. Results indicated that crashes for < 21 year olds decreased 11.8% while the control group (21+ year olds) in alcohol crashes increased 19.4% during the project period. The program outcomes suggest the HVE/source investigation approach holds significant promise to reduce the harms of underage drinking in communities.

Award Recipient: Curtis A. Reece, Manager of Prevention Services, The Phoenix Center

Awardee Presentation Video



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