2016 Priority Needs

Childhood Obesity

According to the 2016 community survey results, a little less than 10% of community survey respondents (9.1% or n = 171) reported that they do not get any physical activity in a typical week. The two most common barriers to physical activity identified in the community survey included lack of time (47.4%, n = 617) and lack of motivation (36.7%, n = 478). In the Key Informant Survey, issues related to health and wellness ranked among the top two most pressing community issues, namely lack of access to healthy food and obesity. An overwhelming majority (94%) of key informants said healthy food availability was a either significant or very significant community issues. Secondary data confirms that obesity is a major issue in Cabarrus County with about two-thirds of adult residents either overweight or obese. Childhood obesity was also considered a pressing issue from youth-serving professionals. A great deal of local momentum from community partners, including Carolinas HealthCare System Northeast, has begun to emerge as obesity – both adult and childhood overweight and obesity– becomes a predominant part of the community conversation.

Substance Use

Community respondents in the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment highlighted access to services related to susbtance use disorders, such as alcohol and drug treatment services, as a major issue of importance in Cabarrus County. In addition, results from a recent Cabarrus Youth Susbtance Use Survey highlighted the growing use of marijuana, alcohol, and prescription pills without a prescription among middle school and high school youth. Secondary data from Vital Statistics shows that many of our premature deaths in the County are associated with unintentional poisonings. Local data from our Emergency Medical Services indicated that over the past two years (2014 and 2015), first responders were called upon 400+ times per year to respond to a 911 call related to overdoses. A great deal of local momentum from the community has begun to emerge as substance use – specifically how to tackle prescription drug misuse - becomes a predominant part of the community conversation.