Prevention & Wellness Initiative
SOUTH WHIDBEY JOINS STATEWIDE INITIATIVE TO PREVENT
UNDERAGE USE OF ALCOHOL AND OTHER DRUGS
Langley, WA- The South Whidbey School District has received a state grant of $65,455 to
reduce youth alcohol, marijuana and other drug use, and work with community members to
support youth in making healthy choices. The grant, awarded by the Washington Health Care
Authority’s (HCA), Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR), includes funding for
training, technical assistance, and community and school-based prevention services.
South Whidbey is one of eighty-two (82) communities statewide participating in DBHR’s
Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI). 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
“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, acting assistant 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% 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 Island County has decreased from 61% in 2006 to 48% in 2016.
“A number of factors were considered in selecting South Whidbey School District for services”,
said Superintendent Jo Moccia. “These included the known substance abuse cases that have
been determined through the Island County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, Island
County Opioid Outreach Services, Island County Juvenile Justice System, Whidbey General
Hospital, Island County Human Services, South Whidbey Homeless Coalition and the regular
participation in the Healthy Youth Survey as well as successes in working with these groups.
The South Whidbey School District is fully committed to ensuring and providing increased
capacity to implement direct and environmental substance use prevention services. These
factors show that our community is ready to benefit from prevention services.”
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 .
For information about joining the South Whidbey Community Coalition, contact Lauri Johnson.
The next coalition meeting is February 18th, 4pm at the South Whidbey Community Center.
Coalition Contact Info:
South Whidbey Community Center
723 Camano Avenue, Langley, WA 98260
(360) 221-6808 Ext 3138