Fred Muench Named President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids
Fred Muench has been named President and CEO of Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
Dating back more than a decade, the Alliance Achievement Award highlights Alliance Partners who have implemented innovative ways to help increase media support and raise awareness about substance abuse within their communities. Award recipients are recognized for their comprehensive, proactive and creative approaches to supporting drug and alcohol abuse prevention efforts at the local level.
Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families
Now in its 10th year of service, the Bay Area Alliance for Youth and Families in Houston, Texas continues to inspire unity and growth in the community, educating its members on the dangers of substance abuse and addiction.
From revamping a butterfly garden for their “Plant the Promise” for a Drug-Free Youth initiative; hosting guest speakers discussing the dangers of drug abuse and underage drinking; and informational events at health fairs, the Alliance has helped bring the community together.
With the creation of the CRAZY (Creating Resilient Aware Zealous Youth) Krewe, the community hosted a 7K run and 2K family walk to raise funds and awareness for drug abuse. The alliance also hosted its 2nd annual Transitions Conference for high school students and their parents to ensure a healthy and drug-free transition from adolescence to adulthood.
In their initiative to combat prescription (Rx) drug abuse, their Prescription Drug Advisory Committee held five medicine take-back events, in which 674 community members came together to give back 2,400 pounds of unneeded prescription medication. The alliance also had a total $929,028 in media support and aired 2,100 public service announcements (PSAs) to ensure that their message was heard across the community.
Through its various outreach programs and through media efforts distributing public service announcements, DrugFreeAZ.org has worked proactively to combat drug abuse in Arizona.
To help combat high rates of Rx abuse in Arizona, DrugFreeAZ.org focused on getting The Medicine Abuse Project’s message out through various public service efforts, digital, social media and news outlets. DrugFreeAZ’s success was reflected in the 21.5 percent drop in the number of 8th, 10th and 12th graders abusing prescription pain relievers from 2008 to 2012.
DrugFreeAZ.org continues to expand its media platform; The Medicine Abuse Project was featured on a six-minute ABC segment and Scottsdale Living magazine now publishes a monthly column featuring messages from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids.
This alliance has also recently developed various video learning centers, including a video learning module for military families. With a grant from Coyotes Charities, DrugFreeAZ.org developed a new toolkit to provide resources and a plan of action for parents who are dealing with their child’s drug or alcohol issue.
Despite an 80 percent budget cut, The Partnership for a Drug-Free North Carolina (DFNC) effectively expanded its platform in the past year by partnering with new organizations to help spread the word about the substance abuse epidemic that affects more than 50 percent of North Carolina residents. One of their biggest partners was the extremely popular Durham Bulls, a minor league baseball team, with whom they maintained the Drug-Free Junior Bulls Kids’ program, reaching a new record of 400 participants. The team also hosted substance-abuse education activities, including the “Parent Kid Challenge,” to spark a dialogue between parents and their children about the dangers of substance abuse. The Bulls aired nearly 1,000 messages (totaling more than $20,000) for DFNC throughout the season.
DFNC worked with the Mt. Airy Police Department during its Autumn Leaves Festival and its prevention partners also installed permanent prescription and over-the-counter medication collection boxes at several police departments around North Carolina.
DFNC continues to seek new advertising platforms (with 100 percent market participation in Raleigh and Charlotte) and set the standard for promoting a drug-free life in North Carolina.
Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey
Since its creation in 1992, The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) has not only maintained its large media presence (with the largest pro-bono media campaign in New Jersey valued at more than $70 million), but also expanded all of its programs without additional costs.
PDFNJ’s message shines through in its various successful social media initiatives, including the creation of a free Smartphone app to inform residents of all 50 states about the closest disposal sites for unused, expired or unwanted medication. In addition, a study at Rutgers State University of New Jersey concluded that PDFNJ’s American Medicine Chest Challenge campaign inspired a greater likelihood of medicine abuse awareness and prevention various levels of the community.
A proactive peer-to-peer prevention initiative, “Shout Down to Drugs,” was largely successful in 2013. This music competition garnered 80,000 votes from teens (who also received prevention messages) and was aired as a one-hour special on Comcast networks.
PDFNJ also aided school districts in addressing substance abuse prevention policies and procedures by releasing the findings from a six-year study on the effects of random drug testing in schools.
the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids thanks our alliance partners and we extend our congratulations in recognition of your Alliance Achievement Awards.