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Jul 252011

We work together for a happier, healthier Sullivan County.

Communities United is an umbrella organization made up of businesses, community support organizations, government and law enforcement, and nonprofit organizations. We are united in our commitment to work for a stronger, healthier community. We know alcohol and drug abuse hurts families and drains our communities of valuable resources.

We work together to provide information, strengthen resources, and support healthy behavior. As you explore our website, you’ll learn more about what we do, our community partners, and how you can help your family and community.

In the four years since we received a Drug-Free Communities Grant, we have worked hard to make a better, safer community. On Monday, October 6, we were proud to present a list of just some of our accomplishments to the Sullivan County Commissioners.


  • High school binge drinking has gone from a statewide high to an all-time low
  • 30-day marijuana and prescription drug use in high school students below state average
  • Reduction in excessive drinking among adults
  • Increase in parents talking with youth about alcohol and other drug use

Systems-Level Change

  • County-wide meetings to improve health curriculum and incorporate suicide prevention protocols in schools
  • Two fully funded positions at SAU 43 and three at SAU 6 for student supports
  • Programs that promote alcohol/drug free lifestyles and positive behaviors, including Life of an Athlete, at all school districts in region
  • Permanent take-back boxes in Claremont, Newport and New London in 2015
  • SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment) initiative at Valley Regional Hospital to ensure every individual under 18 receiving treatment is screened for alcohol use and referred to a participating addiction counselor if necessary

Increasing Community Participation in Substance Abuse Prevention

  • Ongoing radio and newspaper appearances and advertisement focusing on prevention strategies and providing information
  • Joint project with Upper Valley Prevention and Upper Valley-Lake Sunapee Planning Commission to increase proper prescription drug storage and disposal
  • County-wide meetings on criminal justice and prescription drug abuse
  • Ongoing youth prevention projects in Sunapee and Newport
  • Facebook presence increased by more than 200%, with posts regularly shared on media outlets. More than 130 mailing list subscribers
  • Presence at events from workplace health fairs to Newport Chamber Day
  • Newport school substance abuse prevention and mental health grants

If you would like to know more about what we’ve done or how you can be a part of our work, contact Liz at (603) 477-5565.

Colorado has loosened restrictions on marijuana since 2006, beginning with medical marijuana and now allowing recreational use and sale. They have reaped tax revenue, but at a cost:

  • Traffic fatalities with marijuana-impaired drivers have doubled, even as overall traffic fatalities in the state have decreased.
  • Youth use has increased. Youth use by those 12-18 is now 39% higher than the national average. Use by those 18-25 is 42% higher than the national average. A long-term study showed a 7 to 8-point drop in IQ in adults who smoked pot regularly as teens.  (This effect was not present in adult users.) National research shows that 25-50% of daily marijuana users started using as teens. Our website has more information on the medical dangers of marijuana, especially to teens.
  • Colorado’s rate of children under 5 exposed to marijuana is triple the national average. Emergency room treatment for children exposed to marijuana has been increasing since 2011, including seven children in 2014 who needed intensive care treatment.
  • Physicians are also worried about prenatal ingestion and exposure through breastfeeding. Children exposed to marijuana in the womb are more likely to experience depression, especially in the children of moderate to heavy users, but other long-term effects of young children exposed to marijuana remain unknown.
  • Legalization has also fueled the growth of THC extraction labs, which often use butane to increase the potency of marijuana. Explosions in these home labs have increased dramatically, with 12 reported explosions in 2013 and 26 explosions in just the first six months of 2014.
  • Tax revenue from legal marijuana is expected to be .3% of general fund revenue in fiscal year 2013-2014, and 1.2% in fiscal year 2014-2015.
  • Legalization has not resulted in a drop in crime. The 2013 state crime report from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation showed a 1.8% increase in crime.

The full report from the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area is available online at bit.ly/1lSgXFo.


We’ve just updated our webpage with the latest information on “Spice” or “Smacked,” the synthetic drug that made many people in our state sick last month.

Here’s the latest information about this dangerous drug, which has lead to illness and death around the country.

We keep our website updated regularly with the latest information on new drugs and new drug trends, and tips on talking with your kids. Don’t forget to check us out when you have questions!

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The Dangers of Smokeless Tobacco

Dr. Bill Kohn clarifies the facts about smokeless tobacco.

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