2019 End of Year Evaluation Report: Community Perceptions of Substance Use and Outcomes of Workshops and Educational Activities

Be Awesome Coalition BeMedSmart CHAMMP Community-based efforts Data and Information Douglas Community Coalition Healthy People Coalition IMPACT Sierra Vista La Frontera Marijuana NAAF News Opioids PGCSC Pima Council on Aging Prescription drugs Public Health Research RISP-net SAAF San Carlos SAPE Coalition Substance use YELL Coalition Youth Yuma

Using data collected by Service providers and community coalitions throughout Southern Arizona that addressed substance use and misuse among youth and older adults, the report details substance misuse trends, effectiveness of workshops, and outcomes of evidence-based programs. Each provider, in consultation with Arizona Complete Health and Evaluation Research and Development (ERAD), developed a logic model that specified the behavioral consequences, behavioral trends, intervening variables, goals, objectives, and evaluation tools to be used in their strategic planning. The logic model served as a data-driven “road map” that guided their efforts. Through administration of surveys, service provider staff and coalition members gathered data from their respective target areas using the evaluation tools specified in the logic model. Two community-level surveys were administered: a Community Survey and a Sidewalk Survey. Responses from the Community Survey represented the Counties of Pinal, Cochise, Pima, and Yuma, while data from the Sidewalk survey represented Pinal County and Pima County. Along with Community surveys, presentation surveys were administered.

The surveys were designed to measure knowledge change around issues involving three areas: alcohol, marijuana, and prescription medications. Upon completion of the presentation, participants had the opportunity to provide their thoughts on the effectiveness of the presentation. In addition to presentation surveys, an Adolescent survey was given to youth who participated in Evidence-Based programs designed to increase youth leadership and perceptions of risk and harm associated with substance use. An Evidence Base program addressing medication use and misuse among older adults was also administered. Results from the Community surveys, Presentation Surveys, and the surveys administered as part of the Evidence-Based programs are presented in this report.

Key Findings from the 2019 annual report include:

  • The top problem for Cochise County was methamphetamine usage (34.1%), followed by heroin usage at 32.9%, and marijuana usage at 31.9%. Substances viewed as top problems in Pima County were methamphetamine (37.8%) followed by marijuana (35.5%) and underage drinking (32.9%). Marijuana usage was viewed as the top problem in Pinal County (28.4%), though compared to other counties, Pinal County community members appeared to be less concerned with substance usage, in general. Marijuana usage (33.7%) and methamphetamine (32.7%) were the top problems in Yuma County.
  • In Cochise County, problems with medication misuse had the largest change from 2016 to 2019 with a 9.9% increase in perceived severity of problems, this was followed by an increase in heroin usage at 9.4%. Pima County reported decreases from 2016 to 2019 in all substances, except for medications and methamphetamine, which saw modest increases in the severity of problems. For residents of Pinal County, the largest increases in perceived problems was underage drinking (5.4%) and medication misuse (4.2%). The largest changes in perceived problems in Yuma County was medication misuse (13.5%), heroin (11.7%), and methamphetamine (10.3%), all of which had increases from 2016 to 2019.
  • Compared with youth, adults tended to view substance usage as a more severe problem, across all substances.
  • Females tended to view substance use by youth as more severe than males, comparatively.
  • Marijuana, alcohol, and medications, in that order, were viewed as the easiest substances for youth to obtain across all counties.
  • For those who indicated exposure to messages about substance misuse and abuse, many reported that they brought the subject up more as a result of the messaging.
  • Across all counties surveyed, using prescription drugs without a doctor telling them to take them was viewed with the greatest risk compared to other substances. For instance, in Pinal County, 65.8% reported “great risk” with using prescription drugs. In three counties, Cochise, Pima, and Pinal, having five or more drinks in a row once or twice a week had the second highest percentage of perceived risk.
  • Compared with youth, adults reported greater perceived risk across all substances, though both were relatively even with regards to daily use of marijuana and youth having one or two drinks.
  • Most reported they would use a safe and legal way to dispose of medications if they knew about it, for instance, 89.6% in Pinal and 96.9% in Pima agreed with this statement.
  • Community presentations and workshops were highly effective in increasing knowledge about substance misuse and providing tools for addressing issues in the community for those who participated.
  • Evidence-based programs were effective in increasing perceived risk and harm, increasing disapproval of usage, increasing refusal skills, and instilling resiliency by fostering leadership skills and self-efficacy.

Read full report: 2019 End of Year Evaluation Report_final

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