Healthy Communities of Clinton County Coalition (HCCCC) is a 501c3 organization located in a rural county in north-central Indiana. Clinton County has incredible diversity for rural Indiana. According to the US Census, 16.5% of all residents in Clinton County are Latino. Taking into account the known large number of undocumented Latino residents and the fact that the Community Schools of Frankfort has an enrollment of 53.2% Latino students, the county government estimates it to be closer to 35% of all residents in Clinton County are Latino.
HCCCC is a grassroots coalition formed in 2006. Our mission is reducing the risk factors that lead to chronic disease by making permanent changes through policy, systems, and environmental changes. Our robust coalition is made up of over 50 enthusiastic partners that represent all sectors of the community. HCCCC's role in the community is widespread with strong connections with the schools, government officials, local businesses, parents, civic organizations, the Ministerial Association, youth leadership council, law enforcement, social service agencies, sober-living homes, healthcare professionals, churches, and local media. HCCCC is the go-to organization for health in Clinton County. HCCCC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice.
HCCCC covers many areas in preventative health, but especially youth. HCCCC’s mental health and substance use disorder (SUD) team’s mission statement is to decrease substance use by community members through prevention, treatment, and intervention, and break down the barriers to mental health assistance. Local organizations and the four county schools in our community look to HCCCC for prevention programming and presentations for youth. Last year when Clinton Central and Clinton Prairie elementary schools had a problem with nicotine and marijuana, specifically through the use of vaping devices, both schools reached out to HCCCC. HCCCC was able to provide prevention programming to both schools quickly and efficiently.
The purpose of our proposed project, Reduce the Use, Develop the Youth (RUDY), is to utilize the CADCA Change Strategies and SAMHSA vaping prevention framework to address nicotine and marijuana which is having a negative impact on our community at multiple levels. Unfortunately, the increase in teen vaping is causing an increase in both nicotine and marijuana use locally, the two substances that the coalition will address with this funding. 21.4% of middle school students, 17.4% of 10th graders, and 21.3% of 11th graders report usage of nicotine products, which is all higher than the state average (2020 INYS). Another area of concern, according to the 2020 INYS, is the drastic increase in marijuana use in the last month from 9th grade (7.1%) to 11th grade (14.3%). There is a low sense of perception of harm and risk regarding substance misuse (2020 INYS). 34.9% of 10th graders in our area have favorable attitudes toward drug use (2020 INYS). It is impacting school discipline including expulsions, citations for those 18 to 21 years of age, and increased probation cases for those under 18 years of age. The use of nicotine, cannabis, and THC have a negative long-term impact on our health outcomes and rankings.
Our intended outcome is to both decrease the initial use of nicotine and marijuana, but also to lower ongoing use of these same substances. We would do this through strengthening our collaboration with stakeholders to implement individual, school, and community level interventions, decrease barriers, increase access to preventative and treatment measures, and enhance community members’ knowledge to make a long-term positive impact.
HCCCC would like to take the successes that we have had in the prevention of substance use disorder in a more focused, sustainable direction through the DFC grant. This additional funding would allow us to strengthen our collaboration with community stakeholders by making changes to our