Attending CADCA 29th Annual National Leadership Forum was a great experience for the Prevention Services staff with Chesapeake Integrated Behavioral Healthcare. We had the opportunity to meet and hear first-hand the amazing work that is being done in other communities. We were moved by the amount of young people that attended the conference and to hear some of their experiences/stories they encounter in their communities. This will motivate  us to increase youth participation in our coalition. The message  shared by the Surgeon General  about his brother’s personal struggle with addiction, and the need for people who are incarcerated to have access to treatment, was compelling. It just shows that anyone can be affected by this epidemic and we still have a lot work to do. Visiting the Capitol was also a highlight. To be on Capitol Hill in the capacity of a CADCA Coalition representative was a great experience, even though it was a long day and we did a lot of walking!  It was great to see  fellow coalition members lobbying, sharing their expertise and insights to members of our Congressional delegates about why funding these programs (Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, Recovery, and Research) at the highest level is so critical. Also, grouping attendees by their state, like a convention, was very creative.  Investing in these areas will help CADCA provide education, training and resources as we transform communities because PREVENTION WORKS!!

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