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 2017 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Here are some key findings about substance use from the 2017 CHNA:
In 2017, 15.4% of Kent County residents reported current cigarette use and 5.5% reported current electronic cigarette use. In 2015, 10.2% of mothers in Kent County smoked while pregnant.
- Among Kent County youth, 1.9% of middle school students and 5.8% of high school students reported current cigarette use; half (50.7%) of high school students who are current smokers attempted to quit smoking within the past 12 months.
- Approximately 5% of Kent County adults reported heavy drinking (15 or more drinks per week for men or 8 or more drinks per week for women) and 15.3% reported binge drinking (5 or more drinks on an occasion for men or 4 or more drinks on an occasion for women). Slightly less than 4% of Kent County adults reported driving after drinking too much in the past month.
- One-third of Kent County high school students reported ever drinking alcohol (35.4%), 17.0% reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days, and 9.0% report binge drinking in the past 30 days. Approximately 4% of Kent County middle school students reported drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
- Per the most recent data available at the time of this report, the number of opioid-related deaths in Kent County in 2017 (93) exceeded those in 2016 (70). Between 1999 and 2015 in Kent County, the drug-induced mortality rate (including deaths from any drug) increased nearly fourfold, from 4.2 per 100,000 to 16.2.
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 – High School
This 13-session curriculum improves students’ personal self- management skills, general social skills, and drug resistance skills. The curriculum is targeted to youth in 9th and 10th grades and provides information focusing around all aspects of health – physical, social, mental, and emotional. Other topics address the media, risk taking and substances, managing stress, anger, and other emotions, family communication, along with healthy relationships. Each session is approximately 40-45 minutes in length and includes a variety of activities and exercises to maintain participants’ interest. The Botvin LifeSkills Training program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. This will be a pilot program throughout 2019 and 2020 as this curriculum was one of four that was identified by the state to respond to the opioid epidemic we are currently experiencing.
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 (SAMHSA) 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
Donny Nowicki | Donald.Nowicki@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 (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
Sharon Schmidt | Sharon.Schmidt@kentcountymi.gov | (616) 632-7219
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.