The Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth (CRCHY) is a nonprofit organization working under the federal Drug-Free Communities Support Grant Program, now in its 10th and final year.
CRCHY’s mission is to prevent and reduce substance use in young people, and the group’s goals are reached through engaging many partners, including the local schools, parents, youth, law enforcement, media, healthcare, faith-based organizations, and other local agencies and individuals.
Through these past nine years, CRCHY has utilized evidence-based programs, education, and environmental strategies, to make a lasting and sustainable difference in the community.
Several examples drawn from past years include their partnerships with local school SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) groups; CRCHY staff has ensured that students receive accurate drug facts and has provided support that they need in order to encourage healthy decisions.
Initiatives include the coordination of semi-annual medication Take Back Days, where community members dispose of unwanted and expired medications, a partnership with local law enforcement and the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.
Additionally, thousands of local parents through the years have taken advantage of the Raising Great Kids Community Speaker Series, which CRCHY presents in partnership with the Council Rock Education Foundation.
Other activities include promoting Pennsylvania Commonwealth Prevention Alliance’s PAStop.org campaign, which informs the community where to find help for substance use disorder and educates about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.
“Talk, They Hear You,” a SAMHSA program, facilitated through the Coalition’s Parenting Academy, encourages parents of youth between the ages of nine and 15 to talk early and often about alcohol and the dangers of underage drinking.
Studies show that the later one begins to drink alcohol, the less likely they will become an alcoholic.
The Coalition also offers a separate presentation for the same-age youth, covering the consequences of drug use, the effects on the adolescent brain, and the importance of finding their “natural high.”
As the coalition moves forward in the final year of federal funding, CRCHY seeks volunteers and donations to support and sustain these programs and strategies to reduce substance abuse in our communities.
Meetings are held monthly on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Northampton Library from 4:00 to 6:00pm.
For more information about the Council Rock Parenting Academy, youth programs, and community resources, visit www.CRCHY.org.
PHOTO CAP: Students learn drug facts at Girls Night Out at Holland Middle School. From left to right: Kiara Wysocki, Erika Tantillo, and Abby Geist