IMPACT: In Mohave Prevention Action Collaboration Team
Seasoned rural-serving prevention non-profit Arizona Youth Partnership (AZYP) proposes to partner with community substance use prevention coalitions in the remote, rural Mohave County, Arizona cities of Kingman, Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City to use the SPF model in addressing the consistently high rates of underage drinking, marijuana and opioid use/abuse across the tri-city area.
Vast land mass, warm weather, high visitor and seasonal residency, river and lake access and proximity to casino-driven Laughlin and Las Vegas make these three communities particularly vulnerable to high risk lifestyles, as demonstrated in the county substance use data. Mohave County has Arizona’s highest opioid-related death rate (127.5 annual prescriptions/100 people); significantly higher overall youth-reported substance use rate (30% higher than the state average), and alarmingly low perception of risk/high cultural acceptance of underage drinking, recreational marijuana use, and misuse/mishandling of prescription medication.
Over the next five years, AZYP will lead a comprehensive Strategic Prevention Framework process with members of the Mohave Area Partnership Promoting Educated Decisions (MAPPED) in Bullhead City; Kingman Area Prevention Alliance (KAPA) and the Young Adult Development Association of Havasu (YADAH) in Lake Havasu City to address these issues head-on. Efforts will work both at the community and collective tri-city levels to:
1. Assess consumption levels and consequences of alcohol, marijuana and opioids on youth and adults by creating a community needs and readiness assessment led by the contracted Epidemiologist collecting and using the data.
2. Build the capacity of coalition members and community and school-based partners to use the data to effectively plan and implement EBP substance use prevention strategies.
3. Develop data-driven five-year plans for substance use prevention at both the community and regional levels employing a mix of best practice strategies and focusing on leveraging future resources for prevention.
4. Implement a mix of culturally responsive EBP strategies in middle and high schools and in each of the communities including direct prevention programs; messaging and advocacy for practice and systems change.
5. Evaluate efforts through a third-party entity to rigorously determine progress toward addressing SPF-PFS prevention priorities and measure community and regional impact.
When implemented, this initiative will result in a number of meaningful short and mid-term outcomes measured through third-party evaluation within and across the tri-cities of Mohave County, including; 1) active and engaged broad-based representation in prevention coalition work with focus on increased youth and adult voice; 2) comprehensive, data-driven five-year community and regional prevention plans for addressing priority substance use issues; 3) increased substance abuse (SA) prevention capacity and sustainable infrastructure; 4) coordinated messaging, service delivery and practice/policy efforts across the cities – filling gaps left between rural communities 1+ hours apart in travel distance; and 5) increased awareness and knowledge among residents of the dangers of underage drinking; marijuana and prescription and illicit opioid use. Mid and long-term outcomes will point to reduced use and delayed onset/progression of targeted substance use among youth and adults.