Representatives from Vernon headed to the Washington, D.C., area to join more than 3,000 substance misuse prevention specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s 30th Annual National Leadership Forum.
“We learned so much from this amazing experience. Our youth went to numerous trainings about a variety of subjects including substance use, prevention, and how to do different activities in their community” says Lisa DeRitter, Youth Coordinator. “I have no doubt that they will take everything they learned back to Vernon to help our community.”
CADCA’s Forum covered a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription misuse to addressing electronic cigarette use, trending marijuana issues and how to develop policies to reduce underage drinking.
The coalition has recently impacted the community by bringing an educational, yet enriching summer program to our high school population, creating a marijuana PSA, cleaning up a local park, spreading kindness by writing letters to faculty and encouraging post-its to students, and so much more.
Coalition representatives heard from several leaders including Dr. Nora Volkow, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). Vernon Youth Action Group students also met with U.S. Representatives and Senators at the Forum’s Capitol Hill Day event on Wednesday, February 5th. Youth representatives had the opportunity to speak with Senator Cory Booker’s staff about issues surrounding marijuana legalization. Dylan Mann and Cynthia Schneider voiced their opinions about the importance of prevention efforts should recreational marijuana become legal later this year. They spoke to the concerns they had for their friends, school and community. Overall, their voices were heard and all our youth felt that they had made a major difference.