When people think of Las Vegas, several images and monikers might come to mind, and many of them originate from the tourist industry commercials. When Nevada Prevention Network’s representative Martie Washington thinks about the city, however, she thinks of the ‘Monumental Impact’ of prevention.
Washington, Health Program Manager II, Behavioral Health Prevention and Treatment Division of Public and Behavioral Health, has an office several hours away in the state’s capital of Carson City. As part of her job, she works directly with local community prevention coalitions and direct service agencies doing Yeoman’s work to prevent substance abuse.
There are a lot of artificial and natural attractions in Nevada, including Las Vegas, Reno and the Hoover Dam, but, Washington said, “The crowning jewel of Nevada is our Nevada Statewide Coalition Partnership. Member coalitions really have their finger on the pulse of their communities.”
Washington will welcome coalition leaders from all over Nevada and the world July 17th at CADCA’s 15th annual Mid-Year Training Institute at The Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. She will kick off the week of intensive training at the event’s official welcome reception at 5 p.m.
Washington is a former coalition leader herself and is involved in this field to keep primary prevention in the forefront. Nevada is no. 4 in the nation for prescription drug overdoses, she said, and recreational marijuana will probably be on their November ballots. With the help of CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute, coalition leaders will return to their homes with new strategies to reduce medicine abuse and increase the perception of marijuana’s harm.
“Recovery is so hard. If we can avoid going down that route in the first place, we have a better chance at having a healthy childhood. If you are drug involved, you don’t make true connections, and connections are important to a healthy lifestyle,” she said.
Washington said she is thrilled to have CADCA’s event in her state and will also participate in CADCA’s on-site service project at The Shade Tree, a shelter for abused women and children.
She plans to point out in her welcome reception remarks about the family-friendly activities in which visiting coalition leaders can participate after the training has concluded each day.
“But Las Vegas, even though it’s a huge urban city, actually consists of many distinct communities. It’s like any other area where coalitions are found; collections of people connected and working together,” she concludes.
Participants can take training in one of eight tracks and there are special youth sessions, too, through CADCA’s National Youth Leadership Initiative. Register by the early-bird registration deadline of June 3 and save $100. For more information, visit CADCA’s event website. Engage with us on social media using hashtag #CADCAMidYear.