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Home » Uncategorized » CHI welcomes Cibola Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

CHI welcomes Cibola Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition

Lori Vigil,
CSAPC program specialist

Friday, September 27, 2019; Grants, NMCibola Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (CSAPC), and its program specialist Lori Vigil, have joined the Center for Health Innovation (CHI), a nonprofit which is New Mexico’s designated Public Health Institute.     

“CHI is happy to welcome Lori and the CSAPC to the prevention team.  We look forward to supporting Lori’s outstanding work as well as honored to work with a passionate and resilient community coalition,”said Marisol Diaz, CHI Director of Prevention and Community Collaborations. 

Currently, CHI administers several substance abuse prevention programs throughout the state including Doña Ana, Grant and Luna Counties. The New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention funds the programs which are targeted at prevention efforts for underage alcohol abuse, youth opioid misuse and abuse, and medication safe storage and disposal.

CSAPC program specialist Lori Vigil said of the move, “I’m very excited to be part of CHI. I feel a lot of potential and support from CHI for this grant and our community.”

The program also works with four of the Native American communities in the county: Acoma Pueblo, Laguna Pueblo, To’Hajiilee and Pine Hill Diné. “We collaborate on all our prevention efforts with them for a greater county-wide impact and betterment of our residents’ lives,” added Vigil.

Cibola County and its youth have made great strides towards healthy choices to reduce youth substance use over the course of the program’s community coalition building efforts.

Only 9% Cibola County High School students reported currently using painkillers to “get high” on the 2017 Youth Risk and Resiliency Survey (YRRS). That is a 6% decrease since 2011 when the statistic peaked at 15%, and the county ranked one of the highest in the state. The YRRS is a self-reporting national survey that gauges youths’ healthy, and not-so-healthy, behaviors.

Vigil attributes the decreases to grassroots efforts, “Our community is really tight, and we all pitch in to help our youth in Cibola County.”

With a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from New Mexico State University, Vigil understands the lifelong impact alcohol and substance abuse can have on youth, and she also knows the importance of treatment as she is currently pursuing a degree in alcohol and drug counseling from Eastern New Mexico University.

“Because of the severity of substance abuse issues in the community, it’s important to get people counseling and treatment,” said Vigil. “Our program focuses primarily on prevention to save youth from a lifetime of addiction.”

Many youth access substances through family members, knowingly or unknowingly. Over 16% of Cibola High School students reported taking a painkiller without a prescription during their lifetime on the YRRS. Securing medication in the home, especially painkillers and opioids, can avoid youth accessing them and prevent accidental poisonings or overdoses caused by misuse and abuse.

“There’s still work to be done,” said Vigil, “but we’ve surveyed the county, established a core team and rebuilt our coalition’s memberships. Now the Coalition is working on our efforts and implementing those efforts county-wide.”

The CSAPC has thirty members including representatives from throughout the county and representatives from all five of the county’s law enforcement agencies.

Vigil adds, “The coalition plans to continue working with the schools and advocate for policies that include treatment options for students dealing with substance abuse.”

The CSAPC next meets on Thursday, Thursday, October 24, 2019, at 9 a.m. at the Grants Public Library, 1101 N. 1st St. The meeting is held the fourth Thursday of every month and location, but meeting times can vary necessary travel of staff and members. The public is invited to attend and participate.

For more information on the CSAPC contact Vigil at (575) 597-0346 or email:  

This news release is made possible by the Cibola Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, which is a program of the Center for Health Innovation and funded by the New Mexico Office of Substance Abuse Prevention.