Prevention Efforts in Kanabec County

Overview The Substance Abuse Coalition of Kanabec County (SACK) is committed to promoting safe and healthy choices and reducing substance abuse.  The prevention efforts highlighted here are a result of the dedication and hard work of SACK members and partners.

Compliance Checks

The Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting alcohol and tobacco compliance checks since 2001. Compliance checks involve an underage decoy who attempts to purchase alcohol or tobacco from a retailer. Retailers are considered compliant when they refuse to sell alcohol or tobacco to a youthful looking person who cannot prove they are of legal age. If a sale is made, violators are prosecuted.

Responsible Beverage Service Training

Responsible Beverage Service Training has been offered to establishments which have a license to sell and/or serve alcohol in Kanabec County twice annually since 2008. This training equips alcohol servers and sellers with the knowledge and skills they need to comply with alcohol beverage service laws and thereby prevent underage drinking, excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.

Evidence–based curricula in Mora and Ogilvie Schools

The Mora and Ogilvie School Districts have been implementing evidence-based alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention curriculum to students in grades 3-12 since 2006. Evidence-based programs, practices, and policies are prevention strategies that are proven to have produced positive change. Curricula implemented include Life Skills Training and Project Northland-Class Action.

Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (MNPMP)

The Minnesota Prescription Monitoring Program (MNPMP) is a statewideelectronic database that collects data on prescription medications dispensed in the state.  Every pharmacy is required to enter data into the MNPMP on medications dispensed. Prescribers of medications have the ability to reference the MNPMP to identify and address prescription drug abuse, addiction and diversion. 

National Drug Take Back Day

Kanabec County has participated annually in the National Drug Take-Back Day since 2011. The National Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposal, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of these medications.  This initiative has been a collaborative effort among the Drug Enforcement Agency, Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office and SACK.

Social Host Ordinance  

Kanabec County and the City of Mora passed social host ordinances in 2010. These ordinances make persons criminally responsible for hosting events or gatherings where persons under 21 years of age possess or consume alcohol, regardless of whether the person hosting the event or gathering supplied the alcohol. Enforcement of these ordinances is ongoing, and violators continue to be prosecuted.

State and National Prevention Training

Coalition members have many opportunities to attend various trainings and conferences every year. While some are offered as part of a local coalition meeting, others are offered statewide by the Minnesota Prevention Resource Center or nationally by the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). These trainings equip coalition members with knowledge and skills of prevention programs, practices, and policies. Click here to learn more. 

Drug Recognition Expert (DRE)

In 2012 a Kanabec County Deputy was trained as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).  A DRE has advanced knowledge and skills on how to identify impairment in drivers under the influence of drugs other than, or in addition to, alcohol. A DRE conducts a detailed examination of persons arrested or suspected of drug-impaired driving or similar offenses.

Kanabec County Juvenile Tobacco Diversion Program

The Kanabec County juvenile tobacco diversion program has been offered since 1998. The Kanabec County Sheriff’s Office, Attorney’s Office, Court Services, and Public Health collaborate to provide an alternative to court for juveniles involved in illegal use of tobacco products.  The program educates participants on the dangers and costs associated with tobacco use.

Youth and Young Adult Engagement

Youth enrolled in the Mora and Ogilvie School Districts have been involved in a variety of prevention projects in Kanabec County.  Coalition members recognize that both youth and young adults have the power to be a positive role model and promote healthy behavior among their peers.  They also have the power to influence key decision makers to support a healthy environment.  The coalition has and will continue to work with community and school groups to engage youth and young adults in its prevention efforts.

DATA Collection

The coalition collects existing and new data on a regular basis to assess community needs, make plans for action and evaluate its progress. Data on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use has been collected via surveys, interviews, environmental scans, and focus groups.  The coalition also collaborates with various local organizations in Kanabec County to collect consumption, consequence and other related data.

Regular Collaborative Meetings

Coalition members meet monthly for training and to share information, strategize and plan for action. Some SACK members also meet regularly for the Communications and Epidemiological Workgroups. Additional committees are formed as needed to work on specific policies or other initiatives.  

Prevention Funding

Funding for prevention efforts in Kanabec County has come from a variety of sources over the past several years.  Since SACK was established in 2006, the coalition has received funding from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Prevention funding is an investment in our community that improves health outcomes and reduces costs associated with substance abuse.

Prevention information and resources

Coalition members have served as a resource for current prevention information and resources to the community for many years.  Coalition members have submitted articles to the local newspaper and often attend community events to provide information on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.   In recent years communication has expanded to include the SACK website, blogs, e-newsletter, and social media outlets.