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Pushback Against Drugs seeing success in neighborhood campaigns, regular meetings


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- A Marathon County based anti-drug program is having success spreading their message. Pushback Against Drug Abuse is the program launched sixteen months ago to help people change their habits and to prevent young people from trying drugs and alcohol.

Coordinator Melissa Dotter says working with neighborhood groups such as the Forest Park area of Wausau last week has gone well.  “Since we’ve launched Pushback in May of 2013, we’ve actually distributed probably close to 3,000 packets of information now over mostly the city of Wausau. We’ve been using our existing neighborhood groups in the city to be able to get that information out, but we’ve done a number of different neighborhoods that really cover a whole widespread area.”

Dotter says the volunteers have tried a variety of things when going door-to-door in the Wausau area.  “We’ve done a combination of knocking and talking. We’ve dropped off and hung on door handles, and we’ve also talked to people when they’re outside, and really everybody that I’ve talked to, we’ve been very supported.”

The success of the Pushback Against Drugs program has caught the attention of several other cities in Wisconsin. “We’ve had communities from throughout Wisconsin actually invite us, and when I say ‘us’ I mean AODA Partnership and our community partners to their meetings. Whether it’s on the western side of the state, the northern part of the state, over in the Fox Valley area, or south, they recognize that we here in Marathon County are really being leaders in engaging the community in this effort.”

Along with the door-to-door campaign, Pushback still has their informational meetings, such as the one Tuesday.

Thursday, August 14th at 9:00 a.m. We’re still determining the location, but we’re going to be featuring the release of the latest state counts on alcohol and other drug reports that’s specific to heroin.”

Back when Pushback Against Drug Abuse was launched, Marathon County officials knew that alcohol and drugs were the biggest problem in the county, and accounted for a a large number of employee sick days and illnesses in both the private and the government job sectors.