The Phillips County Coalition for Healthy Choices is a prevention and education group formed in Malta, Montana. The Coalition for Healthy Choices focuses on underage drinking, drinking and driving, tobacco use, and drug abuse. The coalition was formed in 1999 and has been continuously accepting grants to further education throughout their county. A series of drunk driving accidents sparked the need to come together and form a coalition in order to protect their community.
The Partners for Success Grant, which provides $281,150 over the next five years, allows the Coalition for Healthy Choices to focus on underage drinking, drinking and driving, and prescription drug abuse and misuse in people ages 12-to-25. The coalition distributed a survey in the spring of 2014 with area school’s students in grades eight, ten, and twelve as well as a voluntary option for students in grades seven, nine, and eleven. The survey was designed to assess adolescent substance abuse, anti-social behavior, and the risk and protective factors that predict these adolescent problems and behaviors. The total number of students who participated in the 2014 survey in Phillips County was 96. Eighth grade students in Phillips County at the time of the survey stated that, in their lifetime, 41.7-percent of them have had more than a few sips of alcohol and tenth grade students who had more than a sip are 61.8-percent.
The coalition uses their resources to tailor the most effective route for change in Phillips County. Through survey methods and identifying the community needs, the coalition is able to do their best to create a healthier and more safe Phillips County.