Coalitions in Action – Secaucus Coalition Provides Free Drug-Disposal Video Template to CADCA Coalitions

“The Secaucus Coalition serves the town of Secaucus, New Jersey, a diverse suburban community of approximately 20 thousand people that sits across the river from New York City,” said Coalition Coordinator Dave Bratton. “The Secaucus Coalition formed in 1989 to assess and respond to the needs of our community.”

“Unfortunately, we face many of the same challenges that each community in our country struggles with—a deadly disease that affects every aspect of life and each person in our town,” said Bratton. “The way we have to do our work is now more challenging, as we rely on virtual platforms for almost every initiative. Given that, we’ve leaned into one of our strengths: video production. I am an experienced creator of video content and have presented on creative approaches to the prevention field in the past at CADCA’s 2019 National Leadership Forum with the ‘Crazy Cool Prevention’ session.”

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve kept in touch with our coalition members virtually and are working to provide resources and educational information, to the community via social media, video and print materials,” said Bratton. “During the school year, we focused heavily on our youth coalition members, meeting virtually weekly, working on initiatives, bringing in unique surprise guests to meetings and trying to plan for the future as much as possible, given the circumstances. Our youth were involved in the discussions for both of our PSAs, and one was even co-produced with a high school student who filmed and acted in our ‘Where Can Your Teen Get Alcohol?’ PSA.”

“On of the videos we created, our ‘Flush Responsibly’ video, was made available as a template for coalitions through the CADCA Community,” said Bratton. “Within less than half of one business day, we already had over 20 requests from other coalitions to use the free customizable version of our video, a humorous PSA letting people know that they should take their expired prescriptions to local drop boxes instead of flushing the contents in the toilet.”

“We’ve had tens of thousands of views of our video PSAs on YouTube and via paid promotion through National CineMedia,” said Bratton. “When we first debuted ‘Flush Responsibly’ and combined it with some other awareness strategies, we more than tripled our prescription drug drop box intake—up from an average of 185lbs per year to 669lbs per year.”

“To other coalitions working to continue your efforts during the pandemic, I would advise you to get creative and lean into your strengths,” said Bratton. “Don’t be afraid to ask other coalitions or support agencies like CADCA for help. We’re glad so many communities have reached out to utilize our PSA and we wish them health for their loved ones and success with their prevention efforts during this extraordinarily difficult time.”