MARQUETTE — A substance abuse awareness group in the central U.P. may be making some changes soon to how it operates.

The Marquette County Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Coalition has been around for more than fifteen years.

The group is considering switching to evidence-based practice. That would mean it bases the decisions it makes on research studies instead of basing them on policies it supports.

“Because of our funders, we do have to guide a lot of our work by (an) evidence-based model,” Marquette County Health Department health educator Sarah Derwin said. “We’re trying to look at a model that will best fit our activity going forward. The model that we’ve used for years has dealt with a lot of policy work.”

For years, the group advocated for the ‘0-0-1-3’ alcohol control policy for public events like the Marquette Blues Fest and many others.

substance abuse coalition

Organizers of the Great Lakes Rodeo proved receptive and adopted ‘0-0-1-3’ for that event, but outside of that, the concept has been a tough sell.

“Policy work can be a little tougher to budge and get some of the results that we need,” Derwin said. “We just really want to look at a good model that can guide our work, and then we can also evaluate it for its effectiveness.”

‘Zero-zero-one-three’ means no drunk driving, no alcohol to minors, one drink per hour and a limit of three drinks per person.