Group specializes in drug abuse prevention |

Group specializes in drug abuse prevention

Campaign currently aimed at hunters

Lee Harstad

Grand Futures has been steering people away from substance abuse since 1996. Funded by federal and state grants and local donations, Grand Futures has a mission of reducing substance abuse.

With offices in Craig, Steamboat Springs and Granby, Grand Futures covers the tri-county area with three major promotions each year and many other activities geared toward children and adults.

Grants Grand Futures receives depends on matching funds from the community. Money given through state and federal grants need to be matched through local donations.

Promotional activities take place during hunting season, during Christmas season and summer months. Hunting season brings on the “Hunters sight-in on a sober hunt” campaign where Grand Futures distributes orange signs to area businesses stressing the need for hunters to handle guns sober.

Grand Futures also distributes hunting license holders that, according to Grand Futures Director Kent Nielsen, are popular with hunters.

Winter months show a support for sober drivers. Targeting driving under the influence, Grand Futures wants to also target responsibility. The campaign last year heralded the “drop your keys, please” phrase as drunk drivers remain the number one killers on the road today.

Summertime brings on another responsibility theme. Although the promotion this year is still being discussed, last summer targeted the dangers of drinking and operating a watercraft.

Last week was Red Ribbon Week at area schools and much of the funding for the week comes from Grand Futures. The Substance Abuse Prevention Program (SAPP) and United Way also provide funds for the week, which explains the dangers of drug use and abuse. These organizations provide the red ribbons, stickers, bracelets and T-shirts that show student support of the week. Grand Futures purchased 1,100 T-shirts for teachers and students in kindergarten through fourth-grade.

“These campaigns make people think,” Nielsen said. “We try to promote a healthy-type atmosphere.”

The T-shirts purchased were designed by Moffat County High School students. Sixteen students worked on the contest and the winner received $50 in cash, with the winning design used for the shirt and all 16 students were treated to a pizza party.

Grand Futures also provides educational materials in a resource library for middle and high school students on a variety of topics such as substance abuse, parenting, school and development.

Partying without alcohol or drugs is another event stressed to teens in the Teen Alternative Group sponsored by Grand Futures.