Mission: It is the primary purpose of The Highlands County Community Coalition for The Reduction of Substance Abuse, d/b/a Drug Free Highlands to organize, inform, educate and unite community in its efforts to reduce substance abuse.
Vision: Highlands County; A safe, healthy and drug free community.
History: Drug Free Highlands (DFH) was organized as a community coalition in 2003 due to increasing rates of youth substance abuse.
In 2010, DFH shifted its focus towards prevention strategies, including providing information, social marketing campaigns, community prevention events, offering training to members of our community, as well as mobilizing law enforcement to do compliance checks, and enforce existing laws, policies, and procedures. In 2010 and again in 2015, Drug Free Highlands was awarded the Drug Free Communities grant, During this time the coalition was additionally awarded the STOP Act grant (Sober Truth On Preventing Underage Drinking) and has received a Block grant every year since 2013.
The funding that the coalition receives helps to shift the conversation of mental health, substance use and abuse and community wellness towards prevention strategies. In collaboration with our community partners in prevention, we offer resources, social norming campaigns, community events, trainings to stakeholders and compliance checks amongst other initiatives.
Farfromdrïnken is a campaign for communities of all sizes that have experienced challenges with underage drinking, adults hosting underage drinking parties, retailers not carding and establishments serving people under 21. For those over the age of 21, this campaign encourages you to be an advocate for our youth to make healthy lifestyle choices. This campaign empowers the whole community and provides a sustainability model for organizations that share a similar vision and mission.
Our most recent venture is a BACKCHAT series in partnership with South Florida State College. During this series we engage college students and address current trends as related to substance use and abuse, mental health, risky behaviors and overall wellness.
Aims and Objectives
"It is the primary purpose of Highlands County Community Coalition (HCCC), d/b/a Drug Free Highlands, to organize inform, educate, and unite our community in its' efforts to reduce substance abuse"
The coalition seeks to change the environment in which substance use happens by creating awareness and conversation (MEDIA) on the issue of substance use, providing and coordinating prevention services (SERVICES PROVIDED) in the community, mobilizing resources (RESOURCES GENERATED) for substance use prevention and creating lasting change (COMMUNITY CHANGE) in our community. Over the last year, the coalition has focused on ATOD and underage drinking in the community. Specifically the coalition has worked on addressing the following risk factors:
- Access to alcohol, prescription drugs, synthetic drugs, and marijuana
- Favorable parental attitudes
- Lack of Awareness
- Low perception of harm
- School norms