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Amy Hanoian-Fontana, Poison Control Educator, relates lessons learned from the Connecticut Task Force.

Judith Fellows, Substance Abuse Prevention Consultant from Vermont, argues that numbers can be misleading.

Lauri Roberts, former Coordinator of the Rhode Island Task Force, talks about denial of the inhalant problem.




Beginning to Mobilize | Recipe for Success | Challenges | What We Learned

Organizing the States: What we Learned

Use existing prevention networks
We’ve learned that inhalant task forces mobilized faster where there is an existing prevention network or organizational infrastructure to overlay. For example, Connecticut’s Regional Action Councils network became the foundation of their Inhalant Task Force. In Vermont, the inhalant initiative is incorporated into their geographically dispersed Prevention Consultant network.

“To sustain a task force it’s important that relationships among the members be strong. Frequent communication, frequent coordination of work among members, frequent contact in general so that all of them come to know what any of them know. At the same time, it’s very important that there be diversity among task force members such that each of those members is connected to a different outside network, which is both important as a source of different information to come to the task force and as channels for disseminating the task force’s work or results.”

Peter Kreiner, Project Evaluator, Brandeis University

Include nontraditional partners
We also learned that task forces work best when they expand beyond traditional players in the prevention arena to include poison control, fire safety and other groups who bring prevention messages to youth or their parents. Other groups to consider are pediatricians, youth residential treatment and foster care communities, chambers of commerce, retail associations, media, and toxicologists.

Teach colleagues
We were surprised by the level of denial and ignorance among adults, and found that when people actually learned about the dangers of inhalants, they wanted to do something to stop it.

Know your state
We also learned that time is saved when people who know the organizational infrastructure, politics, and the influential players in their state are coordinating the effort.



The New England Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition | Home | Contact