Los Angeles, California – On Thursday, May 2nd at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, more than 1,200 youth and 300 community stakeholders from across Los Angeles County came together in an effort to galvanize the community to integrate prevention efforts and support ongoing efforts to help address the opioid epidemic. CADCA’s Youth Leadership Manager Robert Alvarez, a California native with a vested interest in providing youth with the skills they need to tackle substance misuse in their communities, worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Los Angeles office to make this event a reality.
“In order to enact truly impactful and sustainable community change, youth have always been and will always be one of the primary catalysts for that change,” said Alvarez.
Alvarez coordinated with the DEA to host this event, and an earlier training for adult prevention leaders, through the DEA’s 360 community outreach program.
In 2015, in response to the rising number of opioid-related deaths, the DEA launched its 360 Strategy to combat the opioid epidemic using three critical perspectives: 1) law enforcement, 2) diversion control, and 3) community outreach. Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), a nonprofit organization committed to creating safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally, was identified as a key facilitator in DEA’s 360 community outreach. CADCA has been a national partner of DEA 360 and is committed to empowering local communities to prevent substance use before it starts. CADCA provides top-tier training and facilitates important discussions to ensure that substance misuse prevention resources are available to youth and communities nationwide.
Alvarez was also responsible for coordinating with the guest speakers, the Los Angeles County School Districts, and local community leaders to provide this event, free of charge, to local youth.
“Growing up in Southern California, I grew up in LA County in the San Gabriel Valley, there was definitely a lot of substance misuse in my area,” said Alvarez. “When you bring this many young people together and you’re able to put in front of them some very inspiring people that engage them, you can really start building up that momentum to address this issue of opioids within southern California, and all other substances that are harming our youth.”
For questions related to the Youth Summit, contact Robert Alvarez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mission of CADCA (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally. This is accomplished by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, training and special events.
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States and bring to the criminal and civil justice system of the United States, or any other competent jurisdiction, those organizations and principal members of organizations, involved in the growing, manufacture, or distribution of controlled substances appearing in or destined for illicit traffic in the United States; and to recommend and support non-enforcement programs aimed at reducing the availability of illicit controlled substances on the domestic and international markets.