by Matt Cassity
A little less than a year ago, the Community Alliance for Prevention received a Drug Free Communities Support Grant. While the coalition had been in existence since 2013, this was a serious step forward. As we circle back, we are delighted to share how our work has progressed.
With new funding in place, the Alliance jumped into strategic planning around our shared purpose, to strengthen our community in order to prevent and reduce youth substance use. We created actions teams to develop evidence-based approaches to address marijuana, alcohol and non-medical use of prescription medications. Coalition members attended trainings on alcohol policy, marijuana policy, action planning as well as the National Coalition Academy. The Alliance has teamed up with local networks to grow community relationships, share resources and promote events like the alcohol enforcement training we recently completed with the Naperville Police Department and Prevention First. Looking ahead, we plan to launch a campaign for parents regarding marijuana’s impact on youth and create a program centered on safe prescription medication practices.
At its heart, much like Naperville itself, the strength of the Alliance is its people. Our dedicated membership represents a diverse set of backgrounds and areas of expertise, including representatives from schools, local government, law enforcement, civic organizations, healthcare, faith organizations, businesses, parents and young people. These partners provide a comprehensive perspective of our community. It’s this shared vision that leads the Alliance forward.
360 Youth Services provides life-changing services to youth through substance abuse prevention, counseling and housing. Matt Cassity is Alliance Project Coordinator for Community Alliance for Prevention.