Substance Abuse Prevention Program
There has been a noticeable increase in the use of Marijuana among youth. Concerned parents have openly expressed interest in wanting to ensure their children do not engage in substance abuse.
In response to these parental concerns and the need to address substance abuse among youth, AMLC with “Life for Relief and Development”, the largest Arab and Muslim charity organization in the USA, developed the “Love your Life” coalition.
Love your Life is a coalition comprised of a variety of state, local, and community level agencies and individuals. The goal of Love your Life is to reduce substance abuse among youth by establishing community laws, standards, and informed norms that discourage its use. Our vision is to have a drug free Wayne County community.
The preliminary tasks have included working with the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), producing a comprehensive logic models and adopting effective strategies to tackle the substance abuse problem. The main focus of Love your Life is to increase efforts toward environmental change.
For the purpose of this project, targeted zip codes include 48124, 48125, 48126, 48227 and 48228.
Through conducting focus groups with youth and their parents, we have identified two major problems. The first being is marijuana use, which will be the focus of our first project. The second problem is opioids, which we plan on addressing in the near future. Based on the focus groups, we have also identified the two major risk factors: (1) easy access/availability and (2) Low perception of harm.
- Target Population: Youth and adult users and nonusers as well as concerned parents in identified Zip codes of Dearborn, Detroit, Melvindale, and Hamtramck. The program is designed to curb the initiation and progression of substance abuse and associated problems within our target population.
- The program components: Recently, there has been great recognition to the contributions of faith-based organizations (FBOs) in providing social services. However, the role of the FBO's in addressing the mental Health and substance abuse problem is not really utilized.
FBO's can play a major role in addressing substance abuse and mental Health issues and reducing stigma associated with them. For this purpose, AMLC/Life for Relief and Development is launching this project.
The mission is to mobilize the Faith Based Organizations to reduce the substance abuse problem among youth in Wayne County. This will be through launching two campaigns; Parents Against Legalizing Marijuana (PALM) and the Anti-Stigma Campaign.
In addition, we are proposing to hold a Town Hall Meeting with elected political leaders and their key legislative staffs. These leaders will be from City, County, and State Governments. During this forum, AMLC/Life for Relief and Development with the help of experts, will present marijuana use ‘Facts and Effects’ on youth and the negative consequences of legalizing it. During this event, Life for Relief and Development will provide information on how to respond to the problem through outreach, and through mutual support of prevention efforts.
- Parents Against Legalizing Marijuana (PALM) We are launching this campaign as a partnership in collaboration with Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), which is the national leading organization started to defeat legalizing Marijuana.
- The Anti-Stigma Campaign This campaign aims to reduce the stigma associated with addiction and mental health.
The campaigns strategies
PALMWe will employ the following strategies which are proven to make a change at a population level:
Utilizing media as well as social media outlets. We have developed a Facebook page for our coalition and will utilize it to target youth and educate them about Marijuana facts and effects. We will also target other substances such as opioids.
- Building Skills:
Provide training for Religious and community leaders regarding the impact of drugs on youth and provide them with information to be distributed during the Friday Prayers at mosques and Sunday Services at Churches. Additionally, we will help churches and mosques develop their own drug prevention programs for youths, children, and adults, as a part of our comprehensive educational prevention program.
- Reduce Access:
Conduct a compliance check campaigns for dispensaries.
- Police Advocacy
Defeat the legalizing marijuana proposal will be our focus during 2018. In collaboration with faith communities, we will mobilize to vote NO on legalizing Marijuana