Adult and youth leaders from the Sherburne County SUP Coalition joined approximately 2,000 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists from across the country in Las Vegas from July 17-21 for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) 2016 Mid-Year Training Institute. The week-long training taught participants how to address one of our nation’s biggest public health challenges – youth drug use.
CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute is a one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity, offering more than 70 half-day and two-day courses geared towards helping participants find solutions to their community’s toughest substance abuse problems.
"The Mid-Year is a unique professional development opportunity for anyone trying to prevent and reduce drug abuse, and its related problems, in their community,” said General Arthur T. Dean, CADCA's Chairman and CEO. “After four days of intensive training, participants will return to their communities with new skills and strategies, and a clearer roadmap to create environments where young people can thrive.”
This year’s Mid-Year featured a number of renowned experts in the field of substance abuse and prevention, with keynote remarks by Dr. Moira O’Neil, senior researcher and director of interpretation at the Frameworks Institute. The training event covered a wide range of topics – everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and reduce heroin use to how to create tobacco-free environments, reduce impaired driving and develop policies to reduce marijuana use, synthetic drug use and underage drinking.
The Mid-Year also welcomed nearly 200 youth from around the country who took part in CADCA’s youth-led, adult-guided civic engagement training, the National Youth Leadership Initiative (NYLI), where they learned how to become drug prevention advocates and powerful community leaders.
“Attending Mid-Year was really for the youth this year,” said Alicia Klepsa, SUP Coalition Coordinator. “Our student groups at Becker, Big Lake, and Spectrum have been instrumental in helping to tackle drug use and its associated problems in Sherburne County and we want the momentum to continue.” The SUP Coalition sent eight students from Becker and Big Lake High School to attend the NYLI. “We hope to continue to empower youth because they are not only the leaders of tomorrow but also leaders of today.”