Harmful Legal Products / Research

Harmful Legal Product – Over the past decade the Prevention, Early Intervention & Training Department at Akeela has been committed to supporting the efforts to develop Alaskan responsive/specific “best practices.” Our vast experience with a myriad of Alaska communities/agencies through our T&TA support role, illustrate the need for culturally relevant and Alaska specific programming. Working closely with the Pacific Institute of Research & Evaluation (a preeminent, national research and evaluation organization) we have worked to identify federal funding streams such as the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). We have secured NIDA funding to coordinate a science-based effort focused on designing, implementing, and assessing an integrated community prevention model to combat the abuse of harmful everyday legal products including inhalants among pre- and early adolescents, in four Alaskan communities, Ketchikan, Sitka, Kotzebue and Nome. Under our supervision a contract community prevention organizer in each of the communities provides leadership, training and community mobilization support as a part of this project. Intervention components include community mobilization (media advocacy, coalition development and community outreach), and environmental strategies (in the community, retailers and family/homes). Akeela T&TA staff travel to provide direct program support with local staff. This model is science-based and a universal prevention strategy. This program currently operates in 10 rural communities in Alaska from Gambell and Stebbins in the Northwest to Yakutat on the gulf coast.