The mission of the Vernon ROCKS Coalition is to provide Resources & Outreach for Community Knowledge & Success to prevent youth substance abuse.
The function of Vernon ROCKS is to be inclusive of all sectors of the Vernon community to work together to implement strategies that promote protective factors and decrease risk factors that contribute to substance use in young people. Vernon ROCKS supports:
- Prevention strategies for young people at-risk for developing substance abuse issues in hopes of delaying the onset of use and ensuring adequate and timely referral to treatment, for those identified as abusing substances.
- Creation of positive youth development opportunities and a preventive continuum of community supports and services for young people in Vernon.
- Efforts to foster collaborative partnerships among community partners, service providers, educators, faith-based organizations, parents, and youth to ensure that Vernon ROCKS addresses the needs of the entire community.
- An inclusionary process by which youth have input in the discussion on how to plan and implement meaningful and appropriate programs and activities for Vernon youth.
- Development and frequent re-assessment of a comprehensive strategic plan for addressing youth substance use, including a plan to monitor and evaluate its implementation.
Risk and Protective Factors
Vernon ROCKS recognizes that the key to reducing youth substance abuse is to increase protective factors and decrease risk factors. Risk Factors are characteristics that are associated with a higher likelihood of negative behaviors/outcomes. Protective Factors are characteristics that are associated with a lower likelihood of negative behaviors/outcomes. These characteristics can be at the biological, psychological, family, community, and/or cultural level.
Sources: National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; National Institute on Drug Abuse; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration