Washington, D.C. – Mr. Ray Fox and Mr. Lee Rush, two members of the Upper Bucks Healthy Communities Healthy Youth Coalition (UBHCHY) recently joined 2,700 substance abuse prevention and treatment leaders from across the country at Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 22nd annual National Leadership Forum. This one-of-a-kind conference was held in Washington, DC from February 7th-9th. During the three days, community leaders representing community coalitions from throughout the country connected with their peers and learned new community problem-solving skills.
Besides learning the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, the conference kicked off with a keynote address by Dr. James Fowler, Ph.D., author of Connected: The Surprising Power of Our Social Networks and How They Shape Our Lives. Dr. Fowler shared the latest information from his research about how human beings tend to be heavily influenced by their friends in subtle ways. The conference provides a once-a-year opportunity for local leaders to meet members of congress and also to hear from federal leaders about prevention efforts.
During the conference, UBHCHY members Fox and Rush, (along with fifteen others from throughout Bucks County) met with Representative Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-8th) to share various concerns, (i.e., proposed cuts to federal programs for substance abuse prevention programs) and to share and celebrate recent happenings, (i.e., the current focus on the Rx Drug epidemic and the support of local police departments to place permanent Drop Boxes in their department lobbies).
“It was so exciting to be able to spend time in our nation’s Capitol, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a healthier place for children,” said Ray Fox. “We’ve come back re-energized with new strategies under our belt to tackle substance abuse in Upper Bucks.”
The UBHCHY Coalition is once again currently sponsoring social norms marketing campaigns in area middle schools to support positive choices and behavior. Another program UBHCHY is sponsoring this year is implementing AlcoholEdu, an online prevention course for 9th graders. Also, on April 28th, the UBHCHY Coalition will be working with area police departments to support another Rx Drug Take Back Day where citizens can dispose of their unused or expired medicines.
CADCA is the national membership organization representing more than 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA’s mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. Learn more at: www.cadca.org.