The mission of the Out of the Dark Coalition is to establish and strengthen collaboration among service-providing agencies, businesses, faith-based organizations, civic groups, government agencies, and members of the community working together for the reduction and prevention of youth substance use in Craighead County, Arkansas.
The Craighead Out of the Dark Coalition is a standing committee for Out of the Dark Inc. and it represents all the communities in Craighead in the fight to stop the growth of chemical addiction, and its resulting collateral damage, that has been causing so much destruction to families, businesses and local public services. The coalition is the driving force behind the Out of the Dark Movement and this group of sector committees meets several times a year to discuss various local drug issues and common sense solutions to reverse the growing impact that this is having in our communities. In order to effectively address these issues the CODC uses the “Local Level Up” community model that has been developed for Craighead County. The model networks community resources through six (6) sector committees.
Read “HOW THE CODC WORKS” to understand how the CODC has become an extremely effective community organization to fight community drug problems. What does it costs to join the CODC? The cost of joining is a few hours your time and your ideas.
Burden Spending: The collateral damage caused by drug abuse/addition is the
single biggest drain on Arkansas’ state budget. Arkansas Legislative Task Force on
Substance Abuse Services (December 10, 2012)
Students speak out.
The CODC invited the students from various schools in the county ranging from 8th grade to graduating seniors to come and share their experiences about growing up in a culture where using illegal drugs has become an accepted way of life for many and to discuss real prevention ideas. The students said that in reality the estimated percentage of their peers that are using alcohol, marijuana and prescription pills was 80% to 90% although one 8th grade student estimated that the use was about 30% to 40% in her circle of peers. “The only time I can remember talking about (how drugs affect a person) was during 9th grade health, and we skimmed over it”, said one graduating senior. “I think that if we learn the effects of drugs – if we went into that much depth as our regular courses – I think the numbers would drop dramatically. I am a graduate, and all I know is that it is not good for you.”
To learn more about the Out of the Dark School Chapters, please visit our ODSC page.
The Partnership for Success Grant.
Kevin Richardson, Chair of Out of the Dark Inc. has announced that the CODC will receive the Partnership for Success Grant from the Arkansas Department of Human Services, Division of Behavioral Health Services. The initial grant is for $50,000.00 and it is renewable for four (4) additional years at $40,000.00 each, subject to funding being continued. Out of the Dark Inc. will serve as the governing board for the grant.
The Partnership for Success Grant will be used to strengthen the CODC, with operational resources and training, and will assist the Out of the Dark School Chapters, and schools in general, by promoting a healthier community by changing social norms about alcohol use and prescription drug misuse. For example, some of the funds have been earmarked to partner with the Arkansas State University’s HPESS (Health, Physical Education & Sports Sciences) program to provide in-school training at targeted middle and/or junior high schools in Craighead County for the purpose of teaching youth life skills (including alcohol).
Our community model is unique in that it incorporates a functional working relationship between all the sectors that make up a community through a countywide standing committee (Out of the Dark Coalition). A community is defined as all the communities within a county. This allows smaller towns to benefit from the resources of the larger cities in a united effort to address drug abuse and chemical addiction issues throughout an entire county. This model also allows several counties to network together in a coordinated way under the umbrella of the Out of the Dark Movement.
Sector volunteer committees are established to:
1. Identifying local drug abuse and chemical addiction issues within their sector;
2. Establishing at least three (3) local “demand and supply reduction” plans per year to address these issues within their sector; and
3. Provides recommendations to the Out of the Dark Coalition (community at large) in order to implement the best plans throughout the county.
Each sector committee sets the agenda and committee meetings for their sector. All of the committees meet quarterly at a ODC meeting to discuss how to implement their “demand and supply reduction” plans. Out of the Dark Inc. a 501(c)(3) volunteer nonprofit, oversees the operations of the ODC and provides funding through private donations received from the community.