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Community Spotlight: Manatee County Substance Abuse Coalition Attends D.C. Conference


BRADENTON – Representatives from Bradenton headed to the Washington, D.C. area this week to join more than 2,000 substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's (CADCA) 23rd Annual National Leadership Forum.

“We are excited to be able to spend several days with other coalition members from across the country, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a better place, one that doesn’t suffer from the harms of drug and alcohol abuse,” said Dr. Jessica Spencer, Project Director for Manatee County Youth Commission (the Coalition’s youth voice). “We hope to come back re-energized with new strategies to prevent and reduce drug use in Manatee County, Florida."

CADCA’s Forum covered a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs like bath salts and K2 to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce underage and excessive drinking.

In addition to participating in workshops and plenary sessions with experts at the local, state and federal level, members participated in state-wide meetings and a special session on marijuana legalization and medical marijuana at CADCA’s Forum.

Dr. Spencer and Steve Rinder, Manatee School District Drop-Out Prevention and Intervention Coordinator, met with U.S. Representative Vern Buchanan to discuss his legislation to reclassify hydrocodone combination drugs (some of the most addictive and dangerous drug mixtures) to make them more difficult to prescribe and obtain. They also have appointments to see Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Bill Nelson during the Forum’s Capitol Hill Day.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, the nation’s largest training conference for community prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers and SAMHSA’s 9th Prevention Day, took place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 4-7. Visit the Forum website for details about workshops and speakers at http://forum.cadca.org/.

The coalition’s mission is to create community partnerships that implement environmental strategies to reduce substance abuse and promote health and wellness. For further information, go to www.drugfreemanatee.org.


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