Youth Substance Use Prevention


Press Release in PDF Format

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Date: October 14, 2021
Contact: Greta Huntley, Coalition Coordinator, gretchen_huntley@enumclaw.wednet.edu


Enumclaw joins statewide initiative to prevent youth substance use and promote mental health


Enumclaw, WA -   The community of Enumclaw has received a state grant of $220,000 to prevent youth substance use, promote mental health, and work with community members to support youth in making healthy choices. The grant, awarded by the Washington Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) and administered by the King County Department of Community and Human Services (DCHS), includes funding for training, technical assistance, and community and school-based prevention services.

Enumclaw is one of 100 communities statewide participating in DBHR’s Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) to provide substance abuse prevention services and strategies through local coalitions in high-need communities. The Initiative supports new or existing coalitions in partnering with parents, youth, educators, health professionals, law enforcement, faith leaders and local government. Coalitions identify their highest prevention needs, plan, and implement evidence-based strategies, leverage local resources, and evaluate the impact of selected programs.

“Extending these resources to local communities means greater reductions in risky behavior including substance abuse and the harm it causes to people and their families,” said Michael Langer, deputy division director of the Washington State Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery. “Community leaders can use this grant to help young people make healthy choices and succeed.”

CPWI’s primary goals are to reduce underage use of alcohol and marijuana, improve academic performance, and reduce juvenile crime. An evaluation by Washington State University shows that 95 percent of CPWI programs implemented between July 2015 and June 2016 resulted in delaying the first use of alcohol or other drugs, reducing use, and reducing risk factors. In addition, the Washington State Healthy Youth Survey shows that underage drinking in among 10th graders in King County has decreased from 26 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2018.

“Many factors were considered in selecting Enumclaw for services,” said Kelli Nomura, director of the King County Behavioral Health and Recovery Division. “These included high rates of alcohol use and vaping, as well as successes in implementing school-based intervention services.”

To guide prevention planning for the Enumclaw community, the Coalition is asking for adult community members to complete an online survey, available in English and Spanish. One hundred and eighty responses are required to garner accurate data.

Additional information about CPWI can be found at TheAthenaForum.org. State and county Healthy Youth Survey data is available at www.AskHYS.net. Prevention tips for parents can be found at www.StartTalkingNow.org.

The Coalition will hold its first meeting on Tuesday, October 26th at 1:00 p.m. at the Birth to Five Center located at 1640 Fell Street in Enumclaw. As per district policy, masks are required and COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed. For more information about joining the Coalition, contact Greta Huntley, Coalition Coordinator, at gretchen_huntley@enumclaw.wednet.edu.