2-19-19- Comments from Mike Reiss- Youth and Community Action Team Virginia Beach Community Coalition Co-chair
The CADCA Conference demonstrated that coalitions from the local, state and federal levels must work together to protect and support the communities and populations they represent. These coalitions must be prepared to guide and train coalitions formed in the local schools and communities in start up strategies, policy development and sustainment of their programs. All coalitions should be prepared to continue, hand off or conclude programs as emerging programs or prioritized issues arise. Current examples of issues that might prompt redirection are legalization of marijuana and increased use of vaping devices in middle and high schools.
2-28-19- Comments from Mary Crozier Youth and Community Action Team Virginia Beach Community Coalition Co-chair
Returning to the CADCA Conference after two decades was thrilling. CADCA is all grown up with an abundance of workshops on emerging prevention research using savvy technology that was supported by a multi-tiered organizational structure. Everything was polished and fast paced. It was also exciting to meet the many Virginian prevention professionals, coalition members, volunteers and students in attendance.
I had the opportunity to facilitate the state meeting on the second day of the conference. There were 46 in attendance and we talked for two hours! We identified the following emerging issues: vaping in high schools, inconsistent drug testing in high school sports, cooperation between schools and the medical community regarding drug testing, suicide, alcohol, party barns, accessibility of medicine, clergy training, need for resources on anti-vaping, capacity building, an affordable speakers bureau, sponsorships that provide seed money, and flavored nicotine. The local conditions that pose challenges include parental perception, transportation, and pro-drug items marketed to tourists. Local conditions that contribute to success includes the 4H program and support of clergy. Strategies for success include the Lonely Dropbox Program, Urgent Love, OTC medication awareness campaigns, mobile drop boxes, and the placement of disposal instructions on pharmacy medication bags.
On CADCA’s Legislation Day, over 25 of us Virginian’s met with our Senators and Delegates on Capitol Hill. Senator Warner’s aids were amazed that so many of us were in attendance and we gave them an earful. Topics we shared included the need for expanded: youth treatment, prevention funding, and legislative policies regarding vaping and medications. We also discussed our respective coalitions and CCoVA.