The Municipal Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, initiated in 1989, exemplifies a public/private partnership at the community level to prevent alcoholism and substance abuse. Currently 90% of all municipalities in Bergen County have active Municipal Alliances comprised of mayors, community members, law enforcement, educators and youth.
Throughout the state Drug Enforcement Demand Reduction (DEDR) funds collected by fines imposed on those convicted of drug-related offenses are used by The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Abuse (GCADA) to issue grants to each county in New Jersey. The Bergen County Department of Health Services, with oversight by the County Alliance Steering Subcommittee, coordinates local municipal alliances. Every alliance plans and implements substance abuse prevention programs for their community using DEDR funds and money raised through local fundraising efforts.
Each year several hundred programs and events that target all age groups are conducted throughout the county. Examples of programs include Drug Awareness Resistance Education (D.A.R.E), Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE), peer leadership programs in schools, parenting workshops, as well as alcohol and drug free activities like dances and community-wide events.
As part of each multi-year funding cycle, municipalities conduct a needs assessment of their community in order to assist in the selection of programs and activities. Further, all Alliance efforts are evaluated and considered for future programming.
Free trainings, workshops and technical assistance meetings for Municipal Alliance Committee members are offered periodically to provide members with the skills needed to help reduce and prevent harmful effects of substance use. Community members interested in being a volunteer with their local Municipal Alliance may contact County Alliance Coordinator, Judy Forman at 201-634-2744 or firstname.lastname@example.org.