Community grant strengthens substance abuse prevention, treatment efforts

For Immediate Release: September 25, 2014
Contact: Jim VanHecke
Phone: 828-433-1221

Burke collaborative announces community grant to strengthen substance abuse prevention and treatment efforts

Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN), has received support for building the capacity to reduce and prevent substance abuse with funding and leadership from the North Carolina Coalition Initiative (NCCI).

The NCCI Coordinating Center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center announced that seven local coalitions across the state will participate in a year-long, nationally renowned training program to strengthen their ability to tackle substance abuse in their communities, a critical public health problem.  The NCCI is funded by a N.C. General Assembly appropriation through the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services to support local substance abuse coalitions.  The coordinating center provides direction and technical assistance.

This local announcement is made at the tail end of Recovery Month, a national effort designed to carry a message of prevention and awareness. In September, several groups recognized National Recovery Month, including Burke County, the City of Morganton, Town of Valdese, Burke Council on Alcoholism & Chemical Dependency (BCACD), Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN), WMNC Radio, and human service groups, churches, and clubs all over the county by hosting presentations and distributing important resources.

As BCACD is the fiduciary agent of BSAN, the agency will oversee the training and expert technical assistance received from expert trainers at NCCI during the grant period. Burke County was one of seven counties in the state to receive this support.

The 2014-2015 awardees are:

  • Polk County Health Coalition – Polk County
  • Columbus County Health Department – Columbus County
  • Burke Substance Abuse Network – Burke County
  • Healthy Cabarrus Substance Abuse Coalition – Cabarrus County
  • Madison Community Health Consortium – Madison County
  • Healthy Haywood/ Prescription for Safety – Haywood County
  • Guilford Coalition for Medication Education, Detection and Safety (GC M.E.D.S.) – Guilford County

“NCCI coalitions will receive extensive training and technical assistance from expert trainers to help them determine the issues relevant to their community and the best strategies to use,” said Mark Wolfson, Ph.D., NCCI’s executive director. Wolfson, professor of social sciences and health policy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, has extensive experience conducting research on substance use, with a particular focus on the role of community and organizational factors in understanding alcohol and tobacco use by youth.  More information on NCCI can be found on its web site at

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), based in Alexandria, VA, a national partner with NCCI in this effort, will provide a total of three weeks of intensive training over the next 12 months to help prepare the coalitions for the work ahead.

BCACDs Executive Director Jim Van Hecke, who is currently coordinator of the NCCI grant for BSAN, states that one measure of our success as a coalition will be the degree to which our community engages to address our own local conditions, measures the problem, and implements evidence-based, sustainable changes to core conditions such as availability of alcohol to minors, illegal use of prescription drugs, as well as attitudes and norms within the farthest reaches of our community. We have come a very long way and there is still much to be done.”

All are invited to attend BSAN meetings, which are held at the Morganton Community House the last Friday at each month at 7:30am for a free breakfast and program.

What is BSAN?

Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN) members are working to prioritize and strategize around the problem of substance abuse in our county. BSAN is made up of at least 19 community sectors, including leadership from education, youth, law enforcement, people in recovery, affected families, the faith community, mental health, the medical field, and more. BSAN is a coalition of providers, support groups, related agencies and other stakeholders who come together to: (a) network; (b) identify gaps in service; and (c) strategically plan response to community needs as they relate to youth and their families in order to establish a vibrant, Recovery-Oriented Community of Care in Burke County. 


Burke Council on Alcoholism & Chemical Dependency (BCACD), is a nonprofit agency that has served the citizens of Burke County for almost 50 years.  It provides staffing and programming support for BSAN through grants from Burke County United Way and other organizations. For a full listing of services, visit or call 838-433-1221.

For more information, visit


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