Prescription Abuse Task Force (PATF), is located in San Diego, California. Specifically focusing on the East region in Poway and Santee street. PATF was initially known as the Oxy task force due to the high volume of OxyContin abuse. However, the city started to notice that it was not just OxyContin, the problem grew into prescription drug abuse in general. (SanDiegoRxAbuseTaskForce, 2018).
According to PATF, the organization was constructed by the federal agency who were concerned about the growth of prescription drug users. The organization would like to spread awareness amongst their city by connecting through social media. PATF would like to prevent and treat by establishing parent and youth activities, encourage the usage of Naloxone, and promote treatment programs. PATF also holds meetings quarterly to help keep their vision refreshed and focused. Their over-all goal is to reduce prescription drug addiction, abuse, and misuse in San Diego County.
PATF would like to achieve and sustain their goals in various ways. Media is a great way to keep the city in tune with everything that goes on. PATF uses media to increase awareness and to express an apparent message to the public. The organization uses education as another tactic by educating the community and healthcare professionals. Enforcement is another important strategy that PATF is aimed to focus on by diminishing access and develop training for health care professionals. PATF is also targeting legislation and policy by partnering with the pharmaceutical industry and advertising local registries. Lastly, prevention and treatment is an important focus. The organization spotlights parent and youth prevention activities, increase treatment programs, and increase health sustainable activity goals.
According to the PATF webpage, from 1992-2012, drug and medication overdose is the leading death rate in San Diego County. That is above suicides, MVA, Firearms, and homicides. The numbers in itself is very much a reality check. Some things I would recommend are to spread awareness of these numbers by having past victims of addiction educate others about this in the prevention and addiction programs. On that note, I also believe that having these victims who’ve survived their past spread awareness by public speaking at schools, meetings, and any other effective assemblies (PATF 2018). According to Gonzales et al (2011), the author explains that adolescents are one of the fastest growing segments of the general population to abuse prescription drugs. The author explains that this age group starts from the early ages of 12-17. With that being said, I believe that this awareness should also be spread amongst school teachers and faculties to help eliminate this problem before these kids are hit with it late on in adulthood. (Gonzales et al., 2011)
The Binge and Underage Initiative (BUDI), is located in San Diego, California. It is approximately 109 miles away from my home. BUDI is funded by the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency that address the harmful effects underage drinking as well as the risk for drinking through leadership and advocacy. The leadership for the BUDI is provided by the Alcohol Policy Panel of San Diego, who are community advocates that volunteer to come together to reduce binge and alcohol related problems in the community (Alcohol Policy Panel, BUDI, n.d.). The San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel has three groups, the Sector Leaders, a Core Team of three to four of the Sector Leaders and a General Assembly which composed of community members, law enforcement officials, youth and organizations.
BUDI is a primary program that supports six county-funded regional alcohol prevention providers through environmental prevention in San Diego County.
BUDI is supported by the San Diego Alcohol Policy Panel. Its mission is to help reduce binge and alcohol-related problems in the community by developing organizations, youth groups and community effort to address factors that promote binge and underage drinking behaviors. It focuses on community engagements to put policy-based solutions in place (Alcohol Policy Panel, BUDI, n.d.).
Underage, binge drinking is a dangerous behavior that impact the safety and the lives of our young people. Alcohol is the most abused drug by youth and is the cause of premature death for young people including motor-vehicle crashes, homicides and suicides (NCPC, 2018). The BUDI program was formed by Policy Panel, which are community leaders from many sectors of the community to prevent binge and underage drinking by addressing the root cause of teenage binge and underage drinking. BUDI uses an environmental prevention as an approach where it addressed the environmental factors that promotes and maintain binge and underage drinking. The program implemented goals and objectives to restrict alcohol at parks, beaches and other community places, limit alcohol advertising on billboards and university campuses (Alcohol Policy Panel, n.d.).
Policy Panel hosts community breakfast every quarter to those who are interested in the program, to encourage San Diego County communities to be more involved in preventing underage and binge drinking and to learn more about San Diego County Alcohol Policy Panel (Alcohol Policy Panel, n.d.). Also, General Assembly meeting that includes seventy-five to 100 community members, law enforcement officials, agency representatives is done every quarter to stay current about the activities of the BUDI program and to advocate communities, organization and the youths about environmental prevention strategies including media advocacy, policy development, community organizing, working with enforcement officials and applied data collection and research. The San Diego BUDI also works with six regional providers, community partners, teens to change the community to reduce irresponsible alcohol use and abuse (Alcohol Policy Panel, n.d.).
In my opinion, I think the BUDI strategies that are more effective are the Media Advocacy, policy development, community organization and involvement of enforcement officer (Alcohol Policy Panel, n.d.). Through advocating goals and mission through media can gain community and support to change community norms and standards. It can raise awareness of the problem in the community and introduce solutions to the problem. Policy development can put action into place, which can highly create a sustainable change in the community level. Community organization promotes the general population to engage in project activities such as BUDI. Since underage drinking is increasing, we need strategic approach that involves the whole community. Lastly, working with law enforcement can help identify solutions, introduce policy solutions to policymakers and ensure new policies as well as existing policies are followed.
It is unlawful and illegal for youths to drink alcohol and our young individuals should not be found to have alcohol or ethanol level in their blood. Due to the alarming numbers of premature underage alcohol-related death, we need to see more health education and national public relation campaigns to inform the youths about the harmful consequences binge and underage drinking do on themselves. I think working and getting more community leaders involved to identify the problem including environmental factors that contribute the youths on binge and underage drinking and to promote solutions to the problem can help eliminate underage drinking in our communities. We need to continue increasing our Alcohol taxes and enhancing our law enforcements to obtain our goal to prevent binge and underage drinking (PR Newswire, 2003).
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