NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Feb. 22, 2022) – The group known for the last decade as the Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition is now Empower Tusc.
Members announced the change and unveiled the group’s new logo during a press conference in the Tuscora Park Youth Center Tuesday afternoon. Coordinator Jodi Salvo says the previous name made sense when the group started but a lot has changed including a shift from focusing primarily on youth substance use prevention to now also promoting mental health wellness.
“Some people just can be thrown off by that issue about drug use, and having that name I think has been a barrier. Also, when we’re talking about the inclusion of the mental health work we don’t want people to have a barrier not to go to the Anti-Drug Coalition website and Facebook page.”
The group will also now be responsible for overseeing the county’s suicide prevention programs which were previously under the umbrella of the ADAMHS Board. The board’s executive director, Natalie Bollon, says the arrangement made a lot of sense.
“We approached the Anti-Drug Coaltion because of their expertise, their level of commitment to the issues and the manpower that is behind this large group, we knew it was exactly what the suicide prevention efforts needed to move forward.”
Chairman Kerry Metzger says the group’s Youth-to-Youth Program will continue as will the work of its committee committees dedicated to issues including prescription drug abuse, marijuana, and vaping.
“Over the past 10 years, the coalition has prioritized local initiatives centered on encouraging Tuscarawas County youth to live healthy, drug-free lives. That was our vision then, and that continues to be our vision for the future. The vision remains unchanged.”
You can find more information about the newly rebranded organization and its mission at empowertusc.com.