Youth substance use rates decline as Prevent Coalition celebrates 10 years

Over the past 10 years, Clark County youth culture has changed. Alcohol use has decreased from 30% to 20% and cigarette use has gone from 14% to 8%.

The Prevent Coalition, until recently known as PREVENT!, is proud to be part of this effort. This group of diverse community members has spent the past decade working closely with local youth, advocating for healthy communities, collecting over 13,250 pounds of pills at Drug Take Back events and mentoring four other prevention coalitions.

“Community prevention strategies take time and participation by the entire community,” said Joy Lyons, Prevention Intervention Coordinator. “We are excited to see the impact we’ve had and are energized to continue making our community a healthier place for youth.”

In addition to the decline in alcohol and cigarette use, the recently released Washington State Healthy Youth Survey found that, among 10th graders, the use of prescription pain killers to get high went down from 9% to 5% and marijuana use remained relatively flat at 16% between 2006 and 2016.

Prevent has recently updated its branding, logo, and changed its name from PREVENT! to Prevent Coalition. Housed within Educational Service District (ESD) 112, Prevent Coalition’s mission remains supporting and connecting communities to build resilience and prevent youth substance use.

Currently, Prevent Coalition is rolling out the ground-breaking Making the Connection Toolkit designed to teach the connection between substance abuse, toxic stress and encouraging youth to build resilience. The coalition is also working with Strong Teens Against Substance Hazards and Abuse (STASHA) to create a social media campaign focused on alcohol use prevention.

Its new website, preventcoalition.org, includes toolkits and resources for adults and youth supporting healthy conversations and data-driven information about addiction, prevention and resilience.

The public is invited to the Spring Coalition Meeting on Thursday, April 27 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM at ESD 112 (2500 NE 65th Ave, Vancouver, WA 98661).