The challenge associated with substance abuse is a national issue, and one that is felt acutely by our state and home community. The St. Johnsbury Local Health Office supports a variety of prevention programs in the community in an attempt to maintain a safe and healthy environment. We work with community groups, schools, human service agencies, hospitals, law enforcement, parents, youth and others to strengthen the community’s health and decrease substance abuse. Our office provides five essential services to achieve this work:
- Community Organizing
- Program Planning & Consultation
- Presentations & Training
- Community Grants Information & Guidance
- Information & Referral
Regional Prevention Partnership
A major part of our work is seeking out federal funding to support programs that bring resources into our schools, workplaces, and community at large. In 2016, the St. Johnsbury Local Health Office received a Regional Prevention Partnerships (RPP) grant that provides five years of funding to our region with the following goals:
1. Reduce underage drinking and binge drinking in people aged 12-20
2. Reduce prescription drug misuse in people aged 12-25
3. Reduce marijuana use in people aged 12-25
4. Increase statewide and regional infrastructure to implement substance abuse prevention activities.
Working collaboratively with Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, the RPP funds will go towards promoting prevention programs related to binge drinking, marijuana use, and the misuse of prescription medications. Strategies are in place to involve schools, first responders, and the community at large in an attempt to decrease the negative outcomes of these risk behaviors.
Collaborating in Our Community
Our prevention consultant works closely with the hospital and schools, and actively participates in Drug Abuse Resistance Team (DART) activities. We provide program planning, consultations, presentations and trainings to these groups, and have a wide variety of posters, brochures and information packets that we share with students, teachers and parents.
The St. Johnsbury Local Health Office works with the Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) coalition to promote prevention services throughout the area. ATOD staff work on community projects to promote prevention awareness with community partners, and its work is embedded in the various school systems within our district. The coalition works at the program and policy level and supports the many services offered by the Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital Smoking Cessation Program.
Prescription Drug Disposal
Most people who abuse prescription painkillers get them from friends or family – often straight out of the medicine cabinet. By ensuring the safe use, storage and disposal of prescription drugs, you can help make sure drugs don't get into the wrong hands, or pollute our waterways and wildlife.
The Department of Health coordinates a prescription drug disposal system to connect Vermonters with permanent disposal sites near them, like pharmacies and police stations. Find prescription drug disposal options in your area.