N.E.W. Mental Health Connection

Connecting stakeholders and resources to improve the mental health of our community

Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition

In August 2014 the Outagamie County Substance Abuse Task Force became the
Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition.

The Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition brings voices together to advocate for prevention and improve access to multiple pathways of recovery.

To create a community where prevention works and recovery from substance use is celebrated and promoted.

The Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition is a group of dedicated stakeholders who have come together to promote the Four Pillars Approach in the Fox Valley. The Four Pillar Drug Strategy includes: Prevention, Treatment, Harm Reduction and Law Enforcement. On May 19th, 2014 the Summit for Hope brought together the community and leaders from both state and local governments, the recovery community, schools, mental health providers, families and survivors to discuss the growing concern of heroin and other substance abuse issues in Outagamie County. The event was a powerful educational and awareness opportunity to highlight the need for action.

Since the Summit many people from various organizations have been meeting to turn AWARENESS into ACTION.

For more information on the Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, please contact Chris Wardlow at Chris.Wardlow@outagamie.org.


Organizing Partners    




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The Four Pillars Approach

The Fox Valley Substance Abuse Coalition utilizes the four pillars approach, which is based upon the following four principles:

    • Prevention 
    • Treatment 
    • Harm Reduction 
    • Law Enforcement

This pillar includes strategies and interventions that help prevent harmful use of alcohol, tobacco, illegal and prescription drugs. They may focus on: 
    • Reduce individual, family, neighborhood and community harm from substance use, abuse and addiction 
    • Delay onset of first use 
    • Reduce incident (rate of new cases over a period of time) and prevalence (# of current cases at one time in a population) of problematic substance use and substance dependence 
    • Improve public health, safety and order

Prevention can include public education, employment training and jobs, supportive and transitional housing and easily accessible healthcare. Prevention goals should include delaying the onset of substance use among youth and address the underlying causes of drug use. Prevention may also consider that factors such as abuse, poverty, or a history of addiction in the family may influence choices but that use can occur in individuals outside of the factors. This pillar requires the greatest amount of commitment and collaboration across all sectors of the community over a sustained period of time to show significant results. In the long-term, prevention will have the greatest impact.

 Identified Stakeholders:  
• Schools  • Human Services 
• Health Care Systems  • Non-profits
• Parents • Media
• Spirituality Groups • Police
• Employers/Businesses • Civil Infrastructure/Connections


The treatment pillar includes a range of interviews and support programs that encourage people with addiction problems to make healthier decisions about their lives. Treatment improves health by decreasing preventable deaths, illnesses and injuries while improving social integration.

Early intervention is a crucial aspect of any treatment system. Treatment seeks to create a continuum of care by recognizing that different drug use patters must guide treatment strategies. Treatment services may include: 
    • Core services at community health centers 
    • Withdrawal management 
    • Residential and non-residential services 
    • Ongoing sober living

 Identified Stakeholders:  
• Health Care Systems • Non-profits
• Insurance Companies • Human Services
• Therapists/Treatment Programs • Parents
• Spirituality Groups • Civil Infrastructure/Connections


Harm Reduction
The goal of Harm reduction is to reduce harm to individuals and communities from the sale and use of both legal and illegal substances. The principles require that we do no harm to those suffering from substance addiction, and that we focus on the harm caused by problematic use rather than the substance per se.

Harm reduction involves establishing achievable goals, which when taken step by step, can lead to a healthier life for drug users and a healthier community. It accepts that abstinence may not be a realistic goal for some drug users, particularly short term. Harm reduction involves and achievable, pragmatic approach to drug issues. Harm reduction interventions have proven successful in decreasing the open drug scene, the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis, overdoses and overdose deaths.

 Identified Stakeholders:  
• Healthier Care Systems • Judicial Systems (e.g. Drug Court) 
• Non-profits  • Employers/Businesses
• Civic Infrastructure  • Media


Law Enforcement 
The strategy for this pillar should recognize the need for peace, public order, and safety. Policing alone is not a solution to the drug problem and that an integrated approach including prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and policing has proven effective. We cannot arrest our way out of this problem. 

Identified Stakeholders:    
• Law Enforcement • Incarceration Facilities
• Judicial System • Community Corrections