Push out the Pusher
The Push Out the Pusher Hotline 693-3020, is a hotline for you to report suspicious activity and/or drug activity in your neighborhood. This hotline has contributed to several drug busts throughout Blair County. Since May of 2000 thousands of calls have been received. The Blair Countians encourage you to use this anonymous hotline. The bar chart below shows the call volume for each month in 2009.
Blair Countians hosts an annual awards and recognition event to recognize the work done by law enforcement, community advocates and partners, and those with vision to impact the reduction of illicit drug use in our county.
Creation of the “HOPE” group, a support group for parents and others impacted by the use of Heroin or other drugs by family members and friends. This group meets Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the Jury Assembly Room of the Blair County Courthouse.
Chews Not To Use. A campaign against chewing tobacco use. This campaign is targeted toward our young people with the purpose of keeping them from starting to use, but it is also aimed at trying to get adults who use, to quit.
Blair Countians for Drug Free Communities have offered town meetings and public forums on:
• Prescription Drug Abuse Panel on Public Access
• Town Hall meeting on Underage Drinking
• Traveling Wall – Mothers Against Driving Drunk
• The use of Buprenorphine for treatment for Heroin addiction
• The need for a Methadone clinic in Blair County
• The impact of Heroin on our community
By subcontracting with the Blair County Human Services Office, Blair Countians has been able to help support activities in the community that are alternatives to underage alcohol and drug use. These activities have included bowling events, roller skating parties, kickball tournaments, ice skating, etc.
The Blair Countians for Drug Free Communities was also responsible for organizing a 4 day trip for at-risk youth to Outdoor Odyssey and Shaver’s Creek, an adventure based camp designed to build trust, self-esteem and bond kids to adult role models. According to a Communities that Care Study, kids who are offered skills, opportunity and recognition are less likely to engage in substance abuse.
Youth Leader Networking Day is designed for those who work with the youth. The Penn State Cooperative Extension provides the programming. The evening entails the leaders learning new games and activities to play with the youth they work with.
Alternative activities are held throughout the year. Alternative activities are defined as activities that are free of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs with the assumption that constructive and healthy activities offset the attraction to-or otherwise meet the needs usually filled by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Youth have attended Penn State Altoona Ice Hockey games at Galactic Ice, Splash Lagoon, in Erie, bowling and skating at Morrison’s Cove Memorial Park, a day of miniature golf, batting cages and ice cream cones at the Meadow’s Family Fun Center in Duncansville. In addition to these activites volleyabll, basketball and aoftball leagues are held throughout the year. All events are offered free of charge.
Alcohol Purchase Surveys
Alcohol Purchase Surveys survey the beer and liquor establishments throughout Blair County as to whether or not the bartenders/servers are checking identification cards to prove the patron is of legal drinking age. Students visit the establishment and attempt to make a purchase, when it comes time to complete the transaction the student exits without actually purchasing the alcohol. We document whether he/she was carded. These surveys are usually conducted twice a year. If the establishment does card the patron we send them a letter congratulating them for helping to combat underage drinking in our community. If they do not card the patron we send them a letter letting them know the server did not card.
Several prevention activities were undertaken by the Committee to Prevent Underage Drinking and DUI, a sub-committee within the coalition, which included;
• Coach’s Forum – Playbook for Prevention, 58 coaches and school nurses attended with strategies how to model behavior.
• Candidates Forum – Judicial Forum with magistrates and judges was well attended.
• DUI Holiday Committee – media, billboards and signage to help reduce DUI and UAD.
• Get towed / Get a Cab initiative at New Years.
• Legislative Breakfast - an annual opportunity to share best practices in substance abuse reduction with our local Legislators.
• Sticker shock – put stickers on beer cases saying it is illegal to provide alcohol to those under 21.
• Developed PA controlled party dispersal training for law enforcement.
• Prom and Graduation Initiatives – local florists and tux shops were provided cards to distribute reminding minors of the consequence of underage drinking.
• Sent letters to hotels informing them about how to prevent minors from renting rooms for prom night.
Blair Countians for Drug Free Communities constantly seeks to know the status and impact of illicit drug and alcohol use in our community and find new and effective means to address the issues that arise as a result.