Carlton County Drug Prevention Coalition

A local coalition in rural Minnesota addressing drug prevention by holding community forums and education sessions and collaborating with schools

The Carlton County Drug Prevention Coalition was established to combat the growing epidemic of substance misuse in Carlton County, in a part of rural Minnesota. The mission of the Coalition is to engage, advocate, inform, and bring awareness of substance use issues through education, prevention, enforcement, intervention, treatment, and recovery to build a healthy and safe community.

The Coalition meets on a regular basis and consists of members from many organizations and businesses throughout the county, including health care professionals, education, law enforcement, public health, and treatment/recovery, as well as community members who have an interest in working to overcome the issue of substance misuse in their community.

The efforts of the Coalition are varied, including organizing and holding community forums and education sessions, working to improve system processes that touch substance misuse, collaborating with schools to focus on prevention among youth, and addressing the impact of stigma. 

Coalition meetings were attended by an extremely diverse group of community members.

Continuum of Care
Full continuum of care
Harm Reduction
Type of Evidence
Response Approach
Comprehensive services
Peer-reviewed Article

Evidence of Program Effectiveness

“The Community Forum on Heroin and Opioid Abuse was attended by an extremely diverse group of community members. The most common characteristics of individuals who completed an event survey included age greater than 45 years old (61%), female gender (68%), and declaring their race/ethnicity as white (55%) or American Indian (30.3%). Of those representing a community, 31% resided in Cloquet, 24% on the Fond du Lac Reservation, and the rest in smaller communities in the county. Approximately 4 out of 5 (82.3%) attendees reported that they found this forum to be useful and informative. Forty-one percent of attendees reported that they planned to contact others they met at the forum to follow-up on ideas that were discussed. Almost 9 out of 10 respondents (85.4%) reported that they were hopeful that there would be a similarly themed forum next year. Nearly half of respondents (46.2%) reported learning new information about how to help their community address drug abuse. At the end of the Community Forum, 65 community members signed up to take a more active role in finding solutions to drug abuse in Carlton County and became new members of the Carlton County Drug Abuse Task Force.” (Palombi et al., 2017)