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Local nonprofit works to prevent and reduce substance use in young people

The Council Rock Coalition for Healthy Youth (CRCHY) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to prevent and reduce substance use in young people. In existence since 1997, CRCHY has utilized evidence-based programs and environmental strategies to make a lasting and sustainable difference in the Council Rock community.

The group’s goals are achieved through a multi-pronged approach, by engaging with many partners including the local schools, parents, youth, law enforcement, media healthcare, faith-based organizations, and other local agencies and individuals.

Initiatives include the coordination of semi-annual medication Take Back Days, where community members dispose of their unwanted and expired medications.

This effort is a partnership with local law enforcement and the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission, Inc.

In schools, CRCHY partners with the local SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) groups.

CRCHY staff provides information to help ensure that students receive accurate drug facts and also provides the support that students need in order to feel confident in making healthy decisions.

Through the years, thousands of local parents have gained knowledge and increased their parenting skills by attending The Raising Great Kids Speaker Series, which CRCHY presents in partnership with the Council Rock Education Foundation.

Additionally, “Talk They Hear You,” a SAMHSA program facilitated through the Coalition’s Parenting Academy, emphasizes the dangers of underage drinking and encourages parents of youth between the ages of nine and fifteen to talk early and often to their children about alcohol.

Studies show that the later one begins to drink alcohol, the less likely they will become an alcoholic.

The Coalition offers a separate presentation for youth of that age-range (9-15 years), covering the consequences of drug use, the effects of alcohol on the adolescent brain, and the importance of finding one’s “natural high.”

Other coalition activities include promoting two initiatives of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance: the PAStop.org campaign informs the community where to find help for substance use disorder and educates about the dangers of prescription drug misuse.

The Alliance’s PAStart.org initiative serves as a resource for parenting information.

Lastly, CRCHY reaches out to the community by sponsoring an annual community Town Hall meeting and staffing a resource table at local events. Locations might include Senior Expos, Children’s Expos, Health Fairs, and annual borough and township events such as Northampton Day and Newtown Welcome Day.

The Coalition seeks volunteers and donations to help support and sustain these programs and strategies, to prevent and reduce substance use in the communities that make up the Council Rock School District.

Monthly meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of each month at the Northampton Library from 4:00 to 6:00pm. 

For more information, including the Council Rock Parenting Academy, youth programs, and community resources, visit ww.CRCHY.org.

Also, “Like” them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

PHOTO CAP: September 2019,  Chiefs Michael Clark of Northampton, John Hearn of Newtown Township, Mark Schmidt of Upper Makefield and James Sabath of Newtown Borough receive recognition for their continued support of the Bucks County Medication Collection program. Working together, our townships have safely disposed thousands of pounds of unneeded medications. Thank you!