Health Education & Promotion
Substance Use Disorder Prevention
What is Substance Use Disorder?
Substance Use Disorder is a complex brain disease, including diseases such as alcoholism and drug addiction. Substance Use Disorder occurs when a person has a dependence on alcohol and/or drugs that is accompanied by intense and sometimes uncontrollable cravings and compulsive behaviors to obtain the substance.
Why is this a focus of the Kent County Health Department (KCHD)?
In Kent County, substance use was found to be one of the top health concerns by residents during the 2014 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Here are some key findings about substance use from the 2014 CHNA:
- 12.8% of Kent County residents report having smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and currently continue to smoke
- 10.1% of Kent County residents use electronic cigarettes or E-Cigs
- Among Kent County youth, less than 20% report ever having smoked a cigarette
- Alcohol use among Kent County youth is moderate, with 21.1% of high school students and 4.3% of middle school students having drank alcohol at least once within the past 30 days
- The most used types of other drugs by Kent County residents are marijuana (8.5%) and prescription painkillers (5.3%)
How is KCHD addressing this issue?
Research shows that early intervention can prevent many adolescent risk behaviors. KCHD offers Botvin LifeSkills Training, a research-validated substance abuse prevention program, to schools and other organizations throughout the county. KCHD also is one of many organizations that are part of the Community Health Improvement Plan - a community effort to improve concerns found in the CHNA.
Substance Use Disorder Prevention initiatives offered by KCHD:
Botvin LifeSkills Training - Middle School
This 17-session curriculum improves students’ social and decision-making skills to reduce the likelihood they will use alcohol, marijuana, tobacco and other drugs. The curriculum is targeted to youth in 6th through 8th grades and provides information on a variety of drugs, effective communication skills, decision-making, goal setting, coping with anxiety and other topics. Each session is approximately 1 hour in length and includes a number of activities and exercises to maintain participants’ interest and actively engage them in the presentation. The Botvin LifeSkills Training program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
Lauren Czarnowczan | Lauren.Czarnowczan@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7217
Nicole Batway | Nicole.Batway@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7070
Nayaab Sattar | Nayaab.Sattar@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7273
Botvin LifeSkills Training - Elementary School
This 11-session curriculum focuses on improving students’ drug resistance, personal self-management, and general social skills to reduce the likelihood they will use or abuse substances. Topics include: tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs, effective communication, conflict resolution, and dealing with peer pressure. Each session is 45-60 minutes in length and includes a number of activities and exercises to maintain participants’ interest. The Botvin LifeSkills Training program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
Substance Use Disorder – Community Health Improvement Plan
The Community Health Improvement Plan is a long-term, systematic effort to address issues identified by the Community Health Needs Assessment. Various community organizations, including KCHD, have come together to address the key findings and community concerns. The Substance Use Disorder group of the Community Health Improvement Plan focuses on the key findings and concerns related to substance use.