Article written by Marcia Ratliff published in the Winona Daily News on October 1, 2015.
Use of alcohol and other drugs shouldn’t be seen as cool among teenagers, and a coalition of Winona County community leaders — with the help of a large federal grant — is hoping to change social norms surrounding drug use.
The group, called the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention, or ASAP, formed two years ago to start talking about substance use among youth.
“There was excitement and energy around it,” said Janneke Sobeck, community wellness director at Live Well Winona.
The alliance applied for a federal Drug Free Communities grant in March, and found out they had been chosen in early September. Sobeck, who is also serving as director for the Drug Free Communities grant, said the grant runs five years, with $117,000 for the first year and around $105,000 each year after that.
It funds two staff members to build and maintain the coalition, along with information for youth and the adults in their lives, awareness campaigns, and other initiatives.