I was drawn to the world of prevention at the age of twelve after I reflected upon the time my dad and I were sideswiped by a drunk driver. That same year, after I joined my local coalition, my worldview changed. I created a youth-led organization named PANDAA (People Against Nicotine Drug and Alcohol Addiction) to raise awareness regarding substance abuse among youth in communities. With the help of my coalition, I was able to use this organization as a tool to reach out to youth.
Words matter. In diplomatic circles, the words used to describe an international situation can shift alliances and reopen old wounds, and in legislation, the use of a single word can determine whether or not something is included as an allowable expense. A word can change anything from the meaning of a paragraph to an entire policy prescription, and can live on in an individual’s subconscious without them even realizing it. Ever wonder why we are always told to “stay on message?”
The month of April is Alcohol Awareness Month, sponsored by the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. The purpose of the month-long observance is to emphasize the need for education of the dangers of unsafe alcohol consumption. Drinking too much alcohol can lead to increased risk on physical injury, violence, liver disease, cancer and more – a direct impact on individuals and local communities.
How much do you know about alcohol misuse? To raise awareness about the dangers of alcohol, it’s time to get educated and share the facts.
April 4th – 10th is National Public Health Week (NPHW), led by the American Public Health Association (APHA) to recognize the contribution of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our nation. As part of this national effort to increase awareness around different public health initiatives, NPHW strives to make America the healthiest nation in one generation – by 2030.
The Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) was established in 1946 to assist the Economic and Social Council in supervising the “application of the international drug control treaties.” Now, the CND meets annually when it considers and adopts a range of decisions and resolutions. This year marks the 60th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, held in Vienna, Austria from March 13 – 17 and CADCA made the trip to the land of Beethoven, Mozart and the Alps.
Every year on March 17, people from all over the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. In the United States, 127 million people – or 53 percent of the country – plan to celebrate. In 2015, millions of people spent $4.6 billion on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, in the form of decorations and green garb.
From left: Brittany Dake from Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition, Angela Gonzalez from the American Association of Poison Control Centers, and Alicia Towery from Jefferson County Drug Prevention Coalition
My experience with CADCA has been amazing. I have been to Mid-Year once and Forum twice. Both have been incredible experiences. CADCA has changed me and the person I am. Before going to CADCA, I was this shy person who didn’t ever want to talk, who didn’t necessarily want to sit through things like this, but after going to my first CADCA training in 2016, I changed and I wanted to learn more. I wanted to get up and speak about my ideas, give my opinions, tell everyone what I know.
Earlier this month, I was honored to witness more than 3,000 passionate leaders gather at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center to hold important discussions and trainings about how we, as a global community, can increase and improve substance abuse prevention efforts.
On Saturday, February 11th, members of the West Baton Rouge Healthy Drug Free Coalition, Louisiana, laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns, Arlington National Cemetery. I was honored to be invited to take part in the ceremony, representing CADCA and its staff.
Mrs. Toddie Milstead, the coalition’s drug free project coordinator, planned the event to coincide with her coalition’s attendance at CADCA’s 27th National Leadership Forum, February 6-9, 2017, held here in the Washington, DC, area.
National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week: An Opportune Time to Educate Youth on Substance Misuse and Abuse
Pop culture often perpetuates a false perception of the short and long-term implications of drug and alcohol misuse and abuse. Unfortunately, social media, television, internet, music and peer pressure often mislead teens to underestimate the serious ramifications of drug and alcohol use. In the month of January, National Drug & Alcohol Facts Week dedicates time and resources to helping youth learn and understand the true effects of drug use from experts in the field.