Healthy Choices Caring Communities
- Program Representative Interviewed: Beth Thomas, Program Director
- Location: Wauseon, Ohio
Program Overview: The Healthy Choices
Caring Communities (HC3) partnership leads a coalition of community stakeholders with a
common goal of preventing youth substance use, including alcohol, marijuana, tobacco, and
opiates/prescription drugs. HC3 follows the CADCA Drug-Free Communities (DFC)
program framework, which encourages collaboration among communities, agencies, and governments to
prevent and reduce substance use among youth. DFC is a shared initiative between the Executive
Office of the President, Office of National Drug Control Policy, the Department of Health and
Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and Center for
Substance Abuse Prevention. CADCA provides the educational/technical support arm for the grant.
HC3 operates 4 task force groups — the Alcohol Task Force, Marijuana Task Force, Opiate Task Force, and Tobacco Task Force — which meet regularly to plan, implement, and evaluate preventive programs and activities. HC3 activities include educating youth in the Fulton County community about the dangers of substance use, addressing community access through retailers, and running an anonymous tip line for reporting sales to minors. For around a decade, HC3 has also directed a youth-led prevention group. Approximately 45 youth are currently learning the strategic planning process and using prevention science to become change agents in their community.