The StandUP AJ Coalition is a community substance misuse prevention coalition located in Apache Junction, Arizona on the far east outskirts of the Phoenix metro area. StandUP AJ plans to address youth substance use through a multi-sector approach using a set of community-based strategies and action items to reduce the prevalence and impact of the target substances. Strategies to increase community collaboration and coalition capacity include increasing member recruitment, increasing member involvement in implementation of the activities and enhancing skills of the coalition members and key partners through topical trainings on best practices in prevention science. Strategies to reduce youth substance use for the target substances and associated public health problems include providing information, enhancing skills, providing support and changing consequences to address the risk and protective factors of perceived risk of substance use, lack of parent-child conversations, youth coping and resiliency skills and youth engagement in prosocial activities.
Anticipated outcomes of this project include: (1) StandUP AJ continuing on its path to becoming a well-functioning, effective coalition with increased membership and a stronger knowledge base in areas related to prevention science; (2) an increase in youth, caregiver and community awareness of youth substance use; (3) an increase in youth perceived risks of target substances; (4) an increase in youth involvement in prosocial activities and their perceived value of this involvement; and (5) an increase in youth coping, resiliency and self-regulation skills.
By 2027, StandUP AJ anticipates a reduction in use of the target substances and a reduction in substance use disparities among our youth related to mental health, resiliency factors and unmitigated trauma and ACEs.
Using trauma informed, evidence based strategies, StandUP AJ will strive to create a positive culture that allows youth to thrive in an environment where everyone believes they are capable of success, address mental health and social emotional learning to increase youth resilience, and through it all increase the capabilities of the coalition through continually assessing the needs of the community, adjusting strategies as needed, evaluating what we have done, and plan strategically based on the evaluation results. StandUP AJ will stand together with our community and youth promoting positive healthy life choices and building bright futures.