The Coweta Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has a new name: Drug Free Coweta.
The name change was well received at Tuesday’s CSAP meeting.
The coalition began meeting last year with grant funding designed to address the opioid crisis. Coweta was one of five counties chosen because of a high rate of opioid overdoses.
The name change came out of discussions of better branding for the organization. A “leadership team” has been meeting for the past several months to focus on the future of the coalition.
“CSAP is kind of alphabet soup,” said John Winters of the leadership team. The team decided to “just call it what it is, which is Drug Free Coweta."
The official name is Drug Free Coweta: Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition.
“We wanted to update the name so that it is more clear to people what it is,” said Tami Morris of AV Pride, the Fayette County organization that is the recipient of the CSAP grants and provides the administration for the coalition.
AV Pride also oversees the Drug Free Fayette Coalition, and there may be opportunities for the two groups to work together.
Morris also announced that Drug Free Coweta has received another year of grant funding from the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities.
The coalition was funded by a two-year grant, which expired in April. As the funding ended, some the administrative work on the coalition ramped down, and the coordinator was let go. Soon after, there was word that a new grant was coming, but the paperwork is finally signed and the grant funding is official, Morris said.
The new grant is $150,000 for one year. The previous grant was $190,000 a year for two years.
With the drop in funding, Morris said they will be looking for more private donations and “we can tighten our belt, be more efficient and ask our community to contribute in different ways."
The coalition also has a smaller grant, the SPF-RX $30,000 a year grant, that runs through 2022 and is used to reach local college students with a campaign about the dangers of opioid misuse and abuse.
With the official award of funding, Morris said they will be doing some grant tracking management to better handle changes in funding. “In April we kind of went into shut down mode. We don’t want to do that again,” she said. “We have all these months between now and the end of April to figure out how to move this forward next year.”
With the new grant, a new coordinator will be hired, Morris said.
The coalition has focused on four areas: prescriber guidelines, opioid curriculum, “lock your meds” and data.
The prescriber guidelines group is working on an informational pamphlet that will be distributed to local doctor’s offices and given out when patients are prescribed opioids.
The opioid curriculum began being taught in public school health classrooms in the spring, and now is moving into private schools. Representatives from The Heritage School and Central Christian School attended this week’s meeting.
The lock you meds team is planning a memorial tree planting event for Aug. 31, International Overdose Awareness Day. The event will begin at noon at the new city park being constructed on Sprayberry Road. A town hall meeting will be held later this fall.
For more information about Drug Free Coweta, visit www.cowetacoalition.org