Members of the Walton County Prevention Coalition (WCPC), whose mission is to help prevent the abuse of drugs and alcohol in Walton County, attended a national conference in Washington, D.C. last week. The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) held its annual 2016 National Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. from February 1st thru 4th. Coalitions from all over the U.S. and outlying territories attended the 4 day training symposium. The focus of this year’s forum was “Monumental Impact” to describe the role coalitions play in preventing our youth and adults from abusing drugs. The WCPC received a Drug Free Communities Grant in 2014 that has paid all expenses for this and other similar trainings. The goal is to keep our kids safe by educating and promoting lifestyles free of alcohol and drugs.
Attendees represented several facets of the community and included Walton County Prevention Coalition members Deputy Harold Shover - Walton County Sheriff's Office, Lieutenant Richard Black - DeFuniak Springs Police, Bryan Callahan - COPE Center, Judea Kring - COPE Center, Lisa Jeffries - Emerald Coast Children's Advocacy Center, Brandi Gill - Florida Department of Health-Walton County, Destiny Mason and Terriny Mason - Youth Representatives, and Amber Mason - Mom/Chaperone. Members attended training sessions on drugs, drug prevention, and community involvement. Youth members planned strategies around drug prevention in schools and positively influencing the community as a whole. The highlight of the entire journey was planned meetings with Representative Jeff Miller’s Office and Senator Bill Nelson’s Office to thank them for their support and gather insight on future legislation to aid in drug prevention.