United for Prevention in Passaic County (UPinPC)

United for Prevention in Passaic County is a county-wide coalition that seeks to engage all members of the community who are concerned about the problem of substance abuse in the county. Coalition members include students, parents, mental health providers, law enforcement members, and other prominent members of the community. The coalition works toward reducing the access and availability of drugs and alcohol to promote real and effective change in the county.

Some of the coalition’s activities at William Paterson University include:

TIPS for University training- TIPS is a skills-based training program that is designed to prevent intoxication, underage drinking, and driving under the influence. Participants learn how to recognize risky alcohol behaviors among their peers and equip them with the skills they need to intervene in a positive and effective manner. In the fall 2014 semester the coalition sponsored the training of the William Paterson University's Peer Health Advocates and the Theta Phi Alpha Sorority. This is an ongoing training that UPinPC will provide for students.

TIPS for Establishment training- This skill-based program gives servers, waiters and bartenders the knowledge and confidence to recognize and prevent alcohol abuse, drunk driving and underage drinking. Three establishments in Passaic County were trained in 2014. This is an ongoing training that UPinPC will provide for the community.

The PhotoVoice Project- UPinPC is working with members of the YAASA (Young Adults against Substance Abuse) group from the Ringwood/Wanaque alliance. YAASA members have participated in a PhotoVoice training session on how to take pictures that will tell a story of what they are seeing and experiencing in terms of substance abuse issues within their community and age group. These photographs will then eventually be shared at a community-wide event with the intention of reaching parents and policy makers with their message. Furthermore, UPinPC will conduct a research project with the YAASA group to measure the ‘Attitudes towards Substance Abuse among Young Adults Aged 18 – 30’ in their community.

Project Medicine Drop- UPinPC is taking a stand against the increasing problem of prescription drug abuse. Thus, UPinPC has worked with local police departments in Passaic County to encourage the placement of permanent dropboxes for the disposal of unused, unwanted and expired prescription medications. Dropboxes have been placed in Bloomingdale, Little Falls, Hawthorne, Paterson (2), Ringwood and Wayne. Additionally, the coalition reached out to all the pharmacies in the county to inform them of the Project Medicine Drop campaign and provided them with flyers on how to probably dispose of unwanted medications should a dropbox not be available.

Parents Who Host, Lose the Most Campaign- UPinPC provided four county-widetrainings in 2014. Community professionals and members from thirteen municipal alliances attended the training; Bloomingdale, Clifton, Haledon, Hawthorne, Little Falls, North Haledon, Passaic, Paterson, Pompton Lakes, Prospect Park, Ringwood/Wanaque, Wayne, West Milford, and Woodland Park. The coalition provided each alliance with a ‘Parents Who Host, Lose the Most’ start-up kit including pledge cards, stickers, posters, window clings, table tent displays, buttons, yard signs, a self-inking stamp and a personalized banner. Alliances displayed their banners and distributed materials during the months of May, June and July. Furthermore, UPinPC is conducting a research study on parents’ knowledge of underage drinking laws by measuring their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs via a survey that has been distributed throughout the county.

Private Property Ordinances- UPinPC is working to increase the number of ordinances in Passaic County. This local ordinance serves to reduce underage drinking on private property. In June 2014, Bloomingdale became the twelfth community in Passaic County to have this ordinance in place.

Campus-wide Campaign- The coalition publicized and promoted the NJ Lifeline and the Good Samaritan Law using 4000 postcards and 2500 magnets which were distributed throughout the William Paterson University campus.

Coalition meetings- The coalition holds four county-wide informative meetings at William Paterson University campus to share relevant information regarding substance abuse and recovery in Passaic County. Additionally, there are three coalition teams, the Action Team, Data Team and Communication Team, which meet on a regular basis and work toward meeting the objectives of the coalition as described in the strategic plan. The meetings are open to all, and are attended by all major stakeholders in substance abuse prevention in Passaic County.

For further information, please contact Sherrine Schuldt, CPS, CHES, at 973-720-3146 or email upinpc@live.com upinpc@live.com. Further information can also be found at http://www.wpunj.edu/uppc/index.html.