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Sun, Oct. 13

Matforce earns prestigious national award

Courtesy photo<br>
Matforce has earned the prestigious National Exemplary Award. Dr. Leon Cattolico, right, of the Matforce Board of Directors, displays the award with General Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of CADCA, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

Courtesy photo<br> Matforce has earned the prestigious National Exemplary Award. Dr. Leon Cattolico, right, of the Matforce Board of Directors, displays the award with General Arthur Dean, chairman and CEO of CADCA, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America.

Matforce has earned the National Exemplary Award for Innovative Substance Abuse Prevention Programs, Practices and Policies. The National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD) and the National Prevention Network (NPN) presented the award to Matforce, which was one of only four programs in the nation to receive this honor.

Matforce's multi-faceted approach to reducing prescription drug abuse led to this award, a news release stated.

In 2010, Matforce, Yavapai County agencies, organizations and community members joined together to develop a plan to decrease the prescription drug abuse epidemic that was growing in the community. The plan included five strategies: 1) reduce access to prescription drugs; 2) educate prescribers and pharmacists about Rx drug best practices; 3) enhance prescription drug practice and polices in law enforcement; 4) increase public awareness about the risks of prescription drug misuse; and 5) build resilience and resistant skills in children and adults.

Some of the many projects launched include: Dump the Drug events, radio and TV commercials, newspaper articles, school and adult educational presentations, Drug Recognition Training for law enforcement officers, prescription pill drop boxes at local police departments, the "Sign up to Save Lives Campaign" promoting enrollment by doctors and pharmacists in the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and working with area hospitals to adopt policies limiting opioids being dispensed from Emergency Departments.

As a result, Yavapai County has seen substantial decreases in prescription drug abuse problems. Since 2010, there has been a decrease in the number of controlled substances prescribed, youth prescription drug abuse has dramatically declined and opiate/opioid related deaths also declined.

Dr. Leon Cattolico of the Matforce Board of Directors, accepted the award at the Nov. 18 National Prevention Network Conference held in Seattle, Washington.

For more information call 928-708-0100 or online at Matforce.org.

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