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Schools Form Alliance Against Alcohol Abuse

Responding to national and local trends in teen drug and alcohol abuse, a school district committee set out to partner with parents and community experts and reach students with a powerful deterrence message. The resulting Laguna Beach Community Coalition, established a year ago, now boasts 35 members and represents 15 local agencies.

 

The coalition’s mission is to implement research-based prevention strategies to reduce youth alcohol use. Using the results of the California Healthy Kids Survey, administered to students in grades 7, 9, and 11, the coalition targeted three areas linked to alcohol use: increasing children’s problem solving skills; increasing care relationships at home; and reducing access to alcohol.

 

Theresa O’Hare, school board president, said the project ties in with the district’s mission of educating and developing the whole child. “I am gratified that so many community organizations and agencies have joined the district in this effort to protect Laguna’s children from the harmful effects of alcohol and substance abuse.”

 

The district and Mission Hospital Laguna Beach are spearheading the effort, each with its own program, said board clerk Betsy Jenkins. “Together, there is no doubt that we will have a major positive impact on addressing the problem.”

 

“We know that resiliency is the strongest defense against an epidemic of underage substance abuse, premature sexual activity, violence and depression, which transcend social and economic strata,” said Pamela Estes, executive director of the Boys & Girls Club, another coalition member.

 

Participating agencies include: Center for Drug Free Communities, Laguna Beach Community Clinic, Pacific Coast Recovery Center, Mission Hospital, California Youth Services, Community Alliance Network, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach, MADD, Laguna Beach Police Department, CSP, Inc., JADE, Laguna Beach City Council, Laguna Beach Presbyterian Church, Capistrano-Laguna Beach ROP and LBUSD.

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