YSUP Rowan awarded grant funding for 4th year

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 3, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

SALISBURY — YSUP Rowan was awarded funding for the fourth year from the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, allowing the organization to continue implementation of programs targeted at preventing substance misuse among teens.

The announcement came this week from Rep. Ted Budd, who previously supported a bill to ensure the funding for YSUP Rowan and other Drug-Free Communities Support Programs. The organization received a $125,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention & Control.

“Even as we fight a pandemic, the opioid epidemic has gotten worse. Drug overdoses have increased dramatically in 2020. That’s why these support programs are so important. These funds will help keep our kids away from these harmful drugs so they can stay healthy and safe,” Budd said.

Karen South Jones, coalition coordinator and executive director of the Rowan County Youth Services Bureau, said the organization was delighted to be recognized with a fourth year of funding.

“YSUP Rowan (Youth Substance Use Prevention Rowan) uses a comprehensive blend of individually and environmentally focused efforts across multiple sectors of the community to reduce and to prevent adolescent substance misuse,” she said.

Jones said the organization has implemented evidence-based strategies to address teen vaping by using materials and social media conceived by its Youth Council.

“YSUP has coordinated and promoted medication take-back events because our local data indicated that young people who misuse prescription medications obtain those drugs in their own homes or the homes of relatives,” she said.

Jones said this fall, YSUP Rowan will implement an alcohol sticker shock campaign with messages targeting those who buy alcohol for underage young people, “because our local data shows that of-age, near peers are the primary sources for them.”

“Finally, and specific to the times in which we are living, YSUP Rowan is creating and distributing information to retailers to the importance of properly checking the identification of alcohol purchases who are wearing masks,” she said.

Jones said the youth council is looking for middle and high school students who want to use their voices and talents to reduce substance use among their peers. Interested students may find out more on the YSUP website (ysuprowan.org), Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.