The Substance Abuse Prevention program at the Missoula City-County Health Department collaborates to prevent substance abuse in Missoula County through outreach to youth, parents, and the general community, as well as the coordination of coalitions that organize and implement county-wide projects to promote positive healthy choices for young people, provide early childhood support, and carry out environmental strategies to prevent substance misuse and abuse.

Coalitions

The following coalitions are coordinated by the Substance Abuse Prevention program:

Missoula Underage Substance Abuse Prevention (MUSAP) – MUSAP is a workgroup of key community partners addressing underage substance use through collaboration and the use of best practices to create a local environment where youth can make healthy decisions and thrive. Our focus is to reduce rates of drinking and tobacco use, as well as other harmful substances, among youth. We do this by strengthening community collaboration, changing laws and norms related to substance use, partnering with parents to support social-emotional development, advocating for and implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention education for youth, and developing youth leadership and pro-social skills. We ultimately envision a thriving Missoula County where individuals and families feel supported by their community and are empowered to make choices that positively impact their health around substances.

Missoula Prescription Drug (Rx) Task Force – The Missoula Prescription Drug (Rx) Task Force was created in 2014 in response to growing concern about the rise in prescription drug misuse and abuse in Missoula County. The group utilizes a multi-pronged approach to educate the community at large about the potential dangers of prescription drugs, such as accidental poisoning of young children, high rates of prescription medication abuse among young adults, and the importance of proper
medication disposal.

Healthy Start Missoula – Healthy Start Missoula is the local Best Beginnings affiliate and is part of a statewide Best Beginnings initiative under the authority of the State Best Beginnings Advisory Council.  Healthy Start Missoula is a coalition of early childhood service providers in Missoula County. Healthy Start provides outreach to parents on various topics and available programs in Missoula such as respite care, high-quality childcare, parenting classes, and home visiting programs in an effort to
increase the well-being of families with young children. They also organize events and programs to increase awareness and support around current issues and programs impacting families with young children.

Community Training and Events

The Substance Abuse Prevention program conducts workshops and presentations on Chronic Pain Self-Management, Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), Medication Safety, Substance Use and Decision Making, Media Literacy, Local Substance Use Data, and more. We also hold several community conversations and other events throughout the year to raise awareness around important issues in prevention and facilitate networking opportunities between our community partners.