July 12, 2020

WPAA seeks to promote the power of prevention in building healthy communities in Wyoming

The Wyoming Prevention Action Alliance (WPAA), a state-wide coalition of leaders dedicated to promoting substance-abuse prevention and other positive life choices, met April 13 via Zoom to discuss strategies to protect youth and communities from the harms of issues including vaping, alcohol use, meth, CBD, and other issues. The group shared best-practices they have developed in promoting prevention in building healthy communities across the state.

WPAA members began the call by sharing updates on how social distancing restrictions due to the Covid-19 virus are impacting communities across the state.  It was agreed that the isolation resulting from the crisis has raised the need for greater substance abuse and mental health programs to provide resources to people in need of help.

Key topics during the call was the “Sources of Strength” and “24/7” models of prevention.

Sources of Strength is a nation program that has been implemented in Weston County and other parts of the state with the goal of providing high-quality evidence-based prevention for suicide, violence, bullying and substance abuse by connecting youth and adults in reaching out to at-risk students in need of hope, help and strength.

The 24/7 model of prevention is based on South Dakota’s 24/7 Sobriety Project, designed as a nontraditional approach to reduce repeat offenders convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI). The program relies on intensive testing and monitoring of alcohol and drug consumption with accountability and enforcement as key components. It has proven successful in a number of communities in Wyoming.

The WPAA also reviewed a CBD flyer designed to help educate Wyoming residents about key facts involving CBD products sold in stores and online.

Alcohol use by Wyoming youth was another topic for discussion, including how communities can help educate the public about the risks associated with social hosting of parties and community events where alcohol is served.

Meth use continues to be a serious prevention issue in Wyoming. With many states including Colorado legalizing marijuana, drug cartels are now smuggling high-potency meth into the United States. Responding to the impact the drug is having on individuals and families is an important issue in many communities, resulting in greater need for foster care services and other issues.

WPAA members are dedicated to furthering awareness of the importance of prevention across the state of Wyoming.

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