FPU, Keene State collaborate in drug prevention

Franklin Pierce University and Keene State College are collaborating with Monadnock Voices for Prevention to address substance misuse among college students, with a grant of $571,617.

The N.H. Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services has awarded a grant to the County of Cheshire on behalf of Franklin Pierce University, Keene State College, Monadnock Voices for Prevention and Dr. Anna Adachi-Mejia of Dartmouth College to address underage and problem drinking as well as nonmedical prescription drug use on campus.

The grant will provide funds for Franklin Pierce and Keene State to identify, implement, and evaluate prevention strategies. The $571,617 will be spent over the next two years. Each institution has identified a structure for a comprehensive faculty and student-led process to address the alcohol and other drug challenges on their campuses. These include all levels of administration and a cross section from the community, so that the many aspects of this public health issue can be addressed.

Law enforcement in Keene and Rindge are vital partners in this project, as is Monadnock Voices for Prevention, who will provide community outreach, media messaging in the community, policy work and capacity building for the campuses and community as a whole.

“We are so grateful to the N.H. Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services for affording us this grant opportunity, and we are especially thankful to Cheshire County for their hard work in making this possible. We are excited about joining arms with our colleagues at Keene State College, Dartmouth College, Monadnock Voices for Prevention and other local government and community organizations to work on this grant,” said Dr. Jim Earle, vice president of student affairs at Franklin Pierce University. “Engaging college-age students on important issues is rewarding work, but it is difficult as well. Among the many challenges that exist on any college campus, alcohol and other drug abuse is arguably the most significant issue. While it may seem that you can never do enough to educate young people about alcohol and other drug challenges, this grant will allow us to do more than we have ever done, and this will have a significant impact on both the lives of these young people and the community. This is an enormous gift.”

Throughout the process, Keene State and Franklin Pierce will share successes and challenges and learned lessons to increase capacity and collaboration across campuses. Dr. Adachi-Mejia will provide technical assistance to Franklin Pierce’s Institutional Research Department for data collection, evaluation measurement and strategy implementation. This will be completed in conjunction with the Keene State College’s Institutional Research Department, the Center for Excellence and the State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup.

“The health and well-being of Keene State's students is always our top priority — these future leaders need our unconditional support. There are many people across the college and in our community who will collaborate to deliver on this grant and continue our work to address alcohol and other drug issues on campus. Speaking for everyone involved at Keene State, we express our gratitude to Cheshire County for spearheading this grant effort and to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services for funding these initiatives," said Keene State College Vice President of Student Affairs Andy Robinson.

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