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Science and Service Awards

Substance Abuse Prevention - 2011 Winners

Ottawa County Health Department

(616) 393-5776 exit disclaimer

The Ottawa County Health Department (OCHD), located in Holland Michigan, has served Ottawa County for 80 years with a focus on preventing disease, promoting health, assuring quality health services, and protecting the environment. OCHD has provided substance abuse prevention services since 1998 and became licensed by the State of Michigan in June of 2006.

The Communities Helping Ottawa Obtain a Safe Environment (CHOOSE) coalition is a program of the OCHD with the goal of reducing alcohol-involved traffic crashes and fatalities. CHOOSE is modeled after the Community Trials Intervention to Reduce High Risk Drinking program which is a multi-component, community based program that uses a coalition model to alter high risk alcohol use and related problems through improved community awareness of the problem, increased responsible beverage service, reduced underage alcohol access, and enhanced enforcement efforts and their impact.

Because of this unified effort, there has been a reduction in the number of alcohol retailers willing to sell alcohol to a minor, a reduction in the percentage of youth reporting that it is easy to get alcohol, improved training and support for alcohol retailers and an increase in enforcement efforts targeting drunk driving. Between 2004 and 2010, the culmination of these efforts have resulted in a 30.7% decrease in the number of alcohol-involved traffic crashes, a 33.6% reduction in the rate of alcohol-involved crashes (per 1,000 residents), and a 59.2% reduction in the number of alcohol-involved crashes for drivers between the age 16 and 20.

Last updated: 09/19/2011