Anti-drug coalition reconvenes for 2019

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Bristol Eliminating Substance Abuse Together (B.E.S.T-4-Bristol) met on Thursday, Jan. 17, and discussed various possibilities for making their message known throughout the City.

According to their website, best4bristol.com, B.E.S.T. is a “Drug-Free Community Coalition that began in the early 1990s as the Bristol Youth Prevention Council,” with the mission of working towards “unifying the community to promote wellness in our culture through increasing education, implementing strategies, and enforcing policy to prevent substance abuse by youth and those who impact their development.”

Christina Sanchez is the B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol project coordinator, a role she has held for just over a month. During the meeting, she discussed the results of a community survey, which received over 700 responses.

When the surveys were collected between October and November 2018, there were 790 surveys completed. Sanchez shared that 657 of the respondents were Bristol residents, 447 respondents were employed in the City of Bristol, and 323 both resided and worked in the city.

Coalition member Nina Chanana will present a full review of the survey data at the next meeting, Thursday, Feb. 21, from 4 to 6 p.m., at the Bridge Community Church, 43 School St.

78 percent of respondents had not previously heard of the B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol coalition.

This sparked much discussion on actions that could be taken by the coalition to bring awareness to their mission, with one member suggesting the use of social media platforms, and others still suggesting events in which the coalition could engage the community.

One member even suggested a kind of recognition event that would be held in the spring. Discussions of networking, outreach, and community engagement will be continued at the next meeting.

For more information, call  (860) 314-4690, or by emailing christinasanchez@bristolct.gov.