The Fountain Hills Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a group of local community organizations such as businesses, media, law enforcement, faith-based groups, the town council, and others who have been working together to prevent our youth from using drugs or alcohol, and as importantly, to help those who already are.
Drug and alcohol use among youth is a challenge, to be sure, even in the best of times. COVID has made it even more challenging. For some children, the school was the only safe place in their lives. The schools were also the places where students who are struggling with substance abuse or trauma were receiving in-person counseling in small groups. In middle school, in particular, children who have lost parents to death, divorce, or other problems were being identified and helped. COVID also increased the sense of isolation and depression among our children which in turn caused some to start self-medicating with alcohol and drugs.
When schools closed, the coalition pivoted to an online format, which offered its own set of new challenges. Now, with in-person learning back, the Coalition is looking forward to restarting its in-person counseling with a target date of January.
The efforts of the Coalition have made an important impact on the youth of our community. Over the past 10 years, Fountain Hills has seen an 88% decline in prescription drug abuse and a 29% decline in underage drinking among our youth as a result of the success of the Coalition.
In a small community like Fountain Hills, a small collaborative effort by many people can often get great results. Like the popular Butterfly Effect which contends that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can eventually lead to a hurricane, the Community Foundation believes that every bit of financial help and sponsorship will find its way to helping someone in need. We proudly supported the Coalition in 2020 with a grant to support their efforts.
The Foundation is currently seeking sponsors. Interested businesses can get more information at www.fountainhillsgives.com. Or call Foundation President Dori Wittrig at 602-558-5901, or Directors Nicole Perkins at 602-510-2767 or Jenny Willigrod at 602-318-9618. Every dollar helps!
For more information about the Coalition, visit fhcoalition.org.