Helping Parents Prevent Youth Substance Abuse


The Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition (OSAP) is dedicated to the reduction of substance abuse in Ottawa County and has several committees and taskforces dedicated to addressing issues around substance abuse. 

Vision of the Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP) Coalition:  We who live, work, and care about youth in Ottawa County will prevent substance abuse through effective, coordinated and sustainable action.                             

Who we are: The Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is a group of community members, human service professionals, businesses, law enforcement, government officials, schools and school personnel who are working together to create change regarding youth substance use. We are advocating for a community that supports and encourages substance free youth.

Priority Areas:

Based on the 2013 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey, the following priority areas were identified: 

  1.  Almost  1 in 5 students report current alcohol use and 1 in 10 report current binge drinking.
  2.  About  1 in 8 students report current use of marijuana
  3. 1 in 9 students  report having  misused prescription  medication at least once in their lifetime.
  4. Youth in Ottawa County are initiating substance use at an early age (typically around age 14)
  5. Emerging Drug Trends are popular trends that can draw youth into harmful/risky behaviors.

For more information go to:

The Coalition meets on the 4th Friday of every other month from 11:30am to 1pm at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex. To get involved, contact Leigh Moerdyke at 616-396-2301 or through email

OSAP has a number of subcommittees and taskforces working on substance abuse issues in Ottawa County: 

  • Quadrant Based Subcommittess: These subcommittees work on implementing OSAP initiatives in their local communities. Each subcommittee is based in one of the population centers of Ottawa County. The subcommittees work to address the challenges facing their unique communities. There are currently 3 quadrant subcommittees. 
    • SW Subcommittee serves Holland/West Ottawa/Zeeland school districts and meets on either the first or second thursday of every month. 
    • NW Subcommittee serves Grand Haven and Spring Lake and is currently being redesigned. 
    • NE Subcommittee serves Coopersville and Allendale and is done in partnership with the NEOForum and the ABC Coalition. 
    • SE Quadrant serves Jenison and Hudsonville and meets on either the first or second Wednesday of every month. 
  • Prescription Drug and Opiate Taskforce: An Ad-hoc taskforce of the coalition, this committee is working to reduce the increasing rate of heroin and prescription drug misuse in Ottawa County. The committee is working on increasing awarenss of prescription drug takeback opportunities and aligning the substance abuse system to increase effectiveness of treatment.

  • Reducing Ottawa Area Drunk Driving (ROADD) Coalition was recently brought under the OSAP Umbrella as a committee seeking to reduce alcohol involved crashes in Ottawa County by reducing underage access to alcohol, increasing the perception of the consequences of drunk driving and encouraging responsible beverage service practices
  • Student Leaders Initiating Change is a youth coalition developing our leadership skills to encourage our peers to make decisions that have a positive impact on themselves and the community. The Youth Coalition initiative of Ottawa Substance Abuse Prevention (OSAP) Coalition and Pathways, MI, involves High School Students from around the county and partners with existing youth leadership groups

Projects of the various Committess and taskforces: 

  • Safe Prom: The Safe Prom campaign brings together our youth leaders and our alcohol retailers and prom vendors. All businesses associated with prom are provided materials to help them prevent underage drinking. Students are also provided with materials reminding them not all of their peers use alcohol or drugs and to make health choices. 
  • OSAP Parent E-newsletter: The parent newsletter provides parents with information regarding emerging drug trends and other challenges associated with youth substance use. The newsletter also provides insight on having those tough conversations with your youth. 
  • Drunk Driving Preventing:  The goal is to reduce the number of Ottawa County residents who drive while intoxicated. Much of the work involved a social marketing campaign. view our Mobile Eyes Poster
  • Alcohol compliance checks are conducted throughout the County by law enforcement agencies on a regular basis to reduce sales of alcohol to minors.
  • Awareness of the Social Host Liability Law in Michigan will reduce minors’ access to alcohol at parties and social gatherings.
  • Responsible Beverage Service: The goal of the Responsible Beverage Service Project is to decrease the number of intoxicated patrons exiting licensed alcohol establishments. This group is made up of alcohol retailers and law enforcement agencies throughout the county. This group promotes trainings for servers of licensed alcohol establishments, offers Holiday Tune-Up Trainings for retailers and assists local police departments who conduct alcohol compliance checks. 
  • Parent Workshops: The OSAP Parent workshop series runs from October through June each year. The series includes one to three one time workshops for parents on an issue related to youth substance use. Parents learn skills and resources to help their youth develop in the most positive way possible. 

Youth Led Activities 

  • ATI Day: 
  • Red Ribbon Week: October 2016
  • Holiday Celebration: December 2016
  • Raise Your Voice: November 2016-March 2017 
  • National Drug Facts Week: 
  • Safe Prom: April/ May 2017
  • Service Projects as planned
  • Above the Influence (ATI): Events and Activities Ongoing

Get Involved

Meets the 3rd Thursday monthly at Pathways, MI (Holland Office) from 7-8:30pm or At your school: Black River, Holland High School, Hudsonville High School, West Ottawa High School, Spring Lake High School, Zeeland High School and Careerline Tech Center. 

For more information visit: or email OttawaSLIC

Supporting County | Ottawa

Got Drugs?  

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health offers residents free disposal of unneeded, expired or unwanted medications. Bring your medications at a participating location (listed below) during regular business hours. To prepare for disposal we ask that you remove the pills from the bottle and place it in a Ziploc bag style. Liquids or gels can be kept in its original package, but please remove or blacken the label and place in a Ziploc bag. If you have any questions about unwanted medication collection, please call (616) 393-5645.

Prescription Drug Drop Off sites are located in all areas of the County Health Department and these places law enforcement involved:

Zeeland City:  29 W. Main Street

West Olive Sheriff’s Office: 12220 Fillmore Street

Holland City Police Department: 89 W. 8th Street

Grand Haven Township: 13250 168th Avenue

Coopersville City: 289 Danforth Street

Hudsonville City: 3275 Central Boulevard

Georgetown Township: 3100 Port Sheldon Road

For more information on the prescription drug disposal program visit:

To download a prescription drug management log click here



Use the TalkSooner app for tips on how to talk to your kids about not using alcohol or other drugs.