During the 2013-14 fiscal year, SAFE's top accomplishments have been in the areas of teen leadership, medication abuse prevention, inhalant abuse prevention, marijuana prevention, underage drinking and drinking and driving prevention. SAFE established a Teen Ambassadors/Buddy2Buddy cross-age mentoring program. Trained high school students mentor and build relationships with elementary school students in an after-school setting, serving as positive role models, helping with tutoring and providing an interactive substance abuse prevention lesson. The program received recognition from the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. SAFE has used a multi-pronged approach to decrease medication abuse, including regular medication take-backs (collecting over 6 tons of expired or unneeded medications), holding medication summits, providing community education, training healthcare providers and partnering with physician offices and pharmacies to promote the importance of locking up meds, not sharing them with others and disposing of them properly. SAFE received a National Association of Counties Innovation Award for its partnership with the HVAC community to install locking caps on air conditioning units to prevent huffing of Freon from the service valves, the first initiative of its kind nationwide. This, along with SAFE’s other inhalant prevention efforts, contributed to a 28% decrease in inhalant abuse between 2005 and 2012 among Chesterfield eighth-graders. SAFE received a “Bright Idea” award from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University for its compliance checks initiative, which resulted a decrease in sales of alcohol to minors from off-site retail outlets from 28% in 2007 to 5% in 2012. Through reduction of substance abuse, SAFE seeks to also reduce crime, child abuse and neglect, injury and bullying thus improving health and safety in our communities. SAFE has also launched a SAFE Latino substance abuse coalition that includes representation from 30 various organizations.
Major goals for this year include 1) reducing alcohol-related crashes among 18-24 year olds through a targeted media campaign, increased DUI enforcement and increased compliance among establishments with alcohol licenses for checking IDs and not selling/serving to underage persons 2) educating the Latino community in substance abuse prevention efforts 3) continued expansion of the Teen Ambassador program to additional elementary schools and incorporating a Latino component 4) continuing medication abuse prevention efforts through a media campaign targeting parents and trainings for healthcare professionals and 5) educate Virginians about the adverse effects of marijuana on youth, families and the community, and 6) diversifying the funding base for the organization.
SAFE works to prevent underage drinking and to reduce alcohol abuse through a variety of initiatives. SAFE is presently conducting a major campaign to reduce alcohol-related crashes in Chesterfield County among 18-24 year olds. SAFE also holds compliance checks, in partnership with Chesterfield police, to reduce the accessibility of alcohol to minors. SAFE's Cafe Conversations stimulate discussions between parents and young adolescents to talk about alcohol around a shared dinner. SAFE helps prepare parents for talking to their teens about celebrating prom and graduation alcohol-free and about dealing with alcohol pressures as their child transitions to higher education. SAFE also raises awareness about the community environment and its impact on decisions young people make about alcohol. That awareness leads to citizen advocacy, policy change and social changes that reduce underage drinking.
Medication abuse is an escalating problem locally as well as nationally. SAFE serves as a catalyst for addressing this issue, bringing together stakeholders from multiple professional and community sectors to share their perspectives, develop concrete strategies to address the problem and determine collaborative approaches for implementing those strategies. These efforts have resulted in educational trainings for healthcare providers on medication abuse, the involvement of medical practices and pharmacies in sharing information with their patients/customers about the importance of locking medications, not sharing them and disposing of them safely, a media campaign to increase parent/child conversations about the dangers of medication abuse and (in collaboration with Chesterfield police), the collection of over 3½ tons of unused medications at take-back events since 2010.
SAFE promotes teen involvement and leadership in substance abuse prevention through its Teen Ambassadors program. Teen Ambassadors are high school students who serve as positive role models to younger students, providing tutoring assistance and engaging them in activities that promote healthy choices and prevent substance abuse.
SAFE developed a comprehensive inhalant abuse prevention initiative targeting elementary and middle school students, parents, and school staff and raised awareness in the community about the problem. The initiative resulted in a 28% reduction in inhalant abuse by 8th graders between 2005 and 2010. SAFE continues to maintain and expand program elements to reduce inhalant usage, including a partnership with the HVAC community to install locking caps on air conditioning units to prevent huffing of refrigerant from the service valves.
Use, You Lose is a campaign focused on students from grades K-12 and their parents about the consequences for using alcohol and other drugs. It particularly highlights the consequences at school, including suspension (and sometimes expulsion), loss of privileges to participate in after-school activities, including sports, for 45 days, loss of right to park on school property for juniors and seniors. In addition, it highlights legal consequences and social and health consequences from the use of alcohol and other drugs. In fifth grade, students receive a SAFE Use, You Lose sports bag. Their parents are provided a brochure containing a contract relating to family rules about tobacco, alcohol and other drug use they can talk about and sign with their child.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
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