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Health Advocates from Santa Barbara Fighting Back to Speak at National Anti-Drugs Forum

They will share their expertise and learn new strategies during the February conference in Washington, D.C.

Health advocates from Santa Barbara will be in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6-9 to join nearly 3,000 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s 22nd annual National Leadership Forum.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the nation’s largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers. Penny Jenkins, director of Santa Barbara’s Fighting Back, will present a workshop with Shereen Khatapoush, FB’s youth services director, on the necessity of advocacy and public policy to eliminate marijuana dispensaries.

Besides sharing their knowledge and learning new strategies from other substance abuse professionals, the coalition will also have the opportunity to meet and brief senators and members of Congress from their state during CADCA’s Capitol Hill Day.

“We are so excited to be able to spend a week in our nation’s Capitol, 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,” Jenkins said. “We hope to come back re-energized, with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug abuse in Santa Barbara, Carpinteria and Goleta.”

Santa Barbara Fighting Back has recently worked on banning marijuana dispensaries and providing prevention and counseling about alcohol and drugs to elementary age youth though mentoring relationships. Juliana Lee, the FB mentor coordinator, has also been selected to present at the conference. She will focus on using online resources to market and recruit mentors for at-risk youth, as an early prevention effort.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum features more than 100 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. 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.

The mission of Santa Barbara’s Fighting Back is to reduce the demand for illegal drugs and alcohol through a comprehensive system of care that includes prevention, intervention, treatment and aftercare.

— Jane Highstreet represents Santa Barbara Fighting Back.

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