Burlington County receives grant funding from the NJ Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse (GCADA) to fund alcohol and drug prevention programs through the Burlington County Municipal Alliance Program. The Governor’s Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse was established by New Jersey P.L. 1989, Chapter 51 to unite communities in the state in a coordinated and comprehensive effort to achieve the goal of reducing alcoholism and drug abuse. The legislation provided that a network of New Jersey communities would be created to form the Alliance to Prevent Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. The legislation provided the funding through moneys collected from mandatory penalties on drug offenders (DEDR fund). Oversight of the county Municipal Alliance Program is provided by the County Alliance Steering Subcommittee (CASS) under the LACADA.
The Burlington County Municipal Alliance Program is part of the statewide network of Municipal Alliance Programs. In Burlington County there are 31 townships participating in 24 alliances. The goal of the county program is to provide funding and technical support to community and grassroots efforts; to assess community substance abuse prevention needs and then address them with effective programs with the ultimate goal of substantially reducing alcohol and drug abuse among Burlington County citizens.
31 out of 40 municipalities in the county completed a needs assessment for the 2009 - 2011 grant cycle to determine their areas at risk for alcoholism and drug abuse. Using the needs assessment, 31 out of the 40 municipalities in the county developed a list of prioritized risk factors for alcoholism and drug abuse. These priorities were used in the municipal plans to target substance abuse prevention programs for the grant cycle. In addition, each alliance completed a Community Prevention Readiness Assessment Survey Tool. The purpose of this tool is to measure a community’s readiness to implement effective prevention strategies.
In addition to the Needs Assessment and Priority Setting, the efforts of the community volunteers in the Municipal Alliance Program successfully initiated over 250 prevention / education programs across the county. In 2013, Alliance efforts will work towards strengthening the prevention message in programs and improving program outcomes, networking and coalition building.
24 Municipal Alliance Committees Purpose:
- To prioritize local community substance abuse needs and planning for township prevention programs.
- Volunteers from the community with representation from mayor and township council, chief of police, school board, superintendent of schools, student assistance counselors, Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) / Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), business and local civic organizations, churches, parents and youth.
- Scheduled as needed by each Municipal Alliance. County Municipal Alliance Meetings are scheduled as needed by the County Municipal Alliance Coordinator for technical assistance for prevention program planning and required program reporting.