The Orleans United Against Substance Abuse Coalition was formed in 2003. The Coalition materialized when concerned community members approached Genesee/Orleans Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse (GCASA) about alcohol and marijuana use by youth in Orleans County. A core group of volunteers responded to this community concern and began to work with GCASA staff and the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) to form a Coalition.
In 2004, GCASA was awarded a Mentoring Grant federally funded by the Drug Free Communities Support Program. Through 2008, the Coalition continued to add members who represented different parts of the community while at the same time finding programs, activities and environmental strategies to implement throughout the county.
In 2008, Orleans United was awarded a Drug Free Communities Support Grant. This award rejuvenated the Coalition and its members were able to start work quickly thanks to several years of Coalition experience and training.
Between 2008 and 2013, the Coalition continued to grow and gain recognition as a champion for positive youth development in Orleans County. With a base of support in the community through all twelve community sectors and over one hundred active members, the Coalition gained broad buyin from members in the selection, planning, implementation, and evaluation of activities and programs.
Orleans United Coalition work contributed to decreases in youth alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use, as well as positive changes in youth developmental risk and protective factors. In 2014, Orleans United was awarded another five year Drug Free Communities Support Grant and is prepared to administer this program and decrease youth substance use in Orleans County.