In August 2023, Operation UNITE held two regional “Bringing Community Partners Together” coalition symposiums to recognize the work being done across the 33-county service region.
The backbone of Operation UNITE is its 33-county anti-drug community coalitions. UNITE Coalitions work to implement education and treatment initiatives while supporting the investigative component within their counties.
A coalition is a formal alliance of organizations, groups, and agencies coming together for a common goal. Each entity retains its own identity, but all agree to help build a safe, healthy, and drug-free community.
The overall goals of a UNITE coalition are to empower communities and to raise awareness about drug addiction in order to change community norms regarding substance use disorders. To do this successfully, coalitions must have multiple strategies that will bring together the various sectors of their local society.
Local problems require local solutions. The first step is to acknowledge that your community does, indeed, have a drug problem. It is vital to provide consistent messages; address the community as a whole, as well as engage individuals. Brainstorm ways that during the course of your normal life you can impact community norms. (For example, a physician looks for ways to impact their patients and address the problem of substance misuse with their clients.)
To create change within a community, it is vital to change systems such as the judicial, medical, political and educational sectors. UNITE coalitions offer a variety of ways for concerned citizens to become involved in fighting the drug epidemic. Through engaged involvement of citizens, lives will be changed and hope revived in your community.
How To Become Involved
If you would like more information on how to become involved complete the on-line “I Want To Make A Difference” form.