by Colleen Crawford
The Catoosa Prevention Initiative’s (CaPI) blog is a place where our community can speak out about underage drinking and prescription drug abuse and misuse. Here is where you can post ideas and give input – How should we carry out our projects? What should we look for in our data? What questions should we ask in our surveys?
You can tell us about your experiences – as a teen, or as a parent.
This initiative will eventually become community owned and run, so it’s important for the community to participate along the way. But where are we going, and what is our purpose?The work CAPI does is even more exciting on the big picture level than it appears on the local surface. Sure, we scurry around implementing programs and running social marketing campaigns and administer surveys, surveys, surveys! But it all feeds into something very important. We’re part of a quest. You hear about research in the news, and remember all those research papers you had to read and then write about in college? Exciting stuff? If the paper you were reading was in your field, it was pretty interesting, and it made us, as students, realize that new knowledge is explored and discovered in the universities.
Georgia State University handles our grants given to us by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). When I was in college as a psychology major and/or English major, I kept waiting for the “final answer” – the answers to people’s problems. We interpreted writers and learned of the history and mistakes of the founders of the psychology field, but the “answer” never came – because the answer is always evolving, and all that can be found is the best answer at the time based on our best knowledge at the time. I was frustrated, at first, until I realized that it sort of levels the playing field. The “higher-ups” or “people in the know” also know they are looking for a better answer. That means WE can be part of finding it. We’re ALL learning.
That’s what we’re doing. All of our information/data is fed into this knowledge system and becomes part of a study. It’s a study of how to best encourage our young people into healthy lives, with an eye on the prize of seeing them become happy adults and families free from alcohol/Rx abuse.
But for the moment, there are too many people suffering from the problems associated with alcohol and Rx abuse, so the search fervently continues. We’re on the cutting edge of discovery. Now, that’s EXCITING! It’s a chance to add to the knowledge base, and make a real difference in our world. And this is where it gets really personal – this is where you remember the child, friend, family member, or yourself, whose life could be so different – if it weren’t for alcohol or Rx abuse.
So we’ll continue to pass data on to the universities. But we also have opportunity to add questions of our own to the mandated surveys and perform our own “study” of sorts. What if YOU are the link we need to the discovery of the next gold nugget idea that leads us closer to the prevention of the ravaging effects of substance abuse?
We need your ideas, input, energy, arms, legs, and passion! Give us a call if you’re interested at 706-935-5018. We’re a creative, fun bunch of people, and we’ve been waiting for you.