May Coalition Newsletter

Prevent Coalition News, Events, Updates and more.

The Good News: Most Teens Aren't Using Substances

Thank you for joining Prevent and Clark County Public Health for a presentation of the Healthy Youth Survey Results around substance use, mental health, wellness and more. Healthy Youth Survey data is collected every two years in schools across Washington and stands as the most reliable and valid source for youth health indicators.

Clark County Public Health Epidemiologist, Kathleen Lovgren, shared trends and data collected between 2004-2018 highlighted below:

  • Since 2004, the number of youth reporting depression has steadily increased and continues to rise.
  • Youth who reported experiencing trauma also displayed significantly higher risk of substance use - suggesting youth substance misuse is happening primarily as a coping tactic.
  • Most youth are not using substances. 46% of Clark County 10th graders in 2018 reported alcohol use at least once in their life, followed by 35% using e-cigarettes at least once and 27% using cannabis at least once and 6.9% misusing prescription drugs.
  • Since 2014, the number of Clark County 10th graders who reported vaping in the last thirty days increased to 21.4%, possibly as a result of the rise in popularity of Juul and other e-cigarette devices. We're hopeful that local prevention efforts and steps taken by the Food and Drug Administration will curb these numbers.
  • Since 2016 the number of 10th graders using nicotine in e-cigarettes dramatically increased from 4.9% in 2016 to 15.4% in 2018.
  • Cannabis and alcohol are perceived easier to access than cigarettes and other drugs by Clark County 10th graders in 2018.
  • Despite legalization in Washington, the trends show Clark County 10th graders current cannabis use rates remain stable, though we're paying attention to big industry practices that counter local youth prevention efforts.

Healthy Youth Survey data is collected every two years in schools across Washington and stands as the most reliable and valid source for youth health indicators.

The community can use this data to inform their work. They can ask questions like, "Are we viewing substance use as a punishment concern or as a red flag for youth needing support?" or "Are what people keep saying about youth behaviors backed up by the data?" Use local stats in grant writing and to shape strategic, comprehensive interventions. Learn more about family management practices can reduce risk of youth substance misuse. Support those who are struggling knowing it only takes one caring adult to boost resilience.

Read the mental health resource guide.

Read the HYS news release.

Read the Clark County Today article.

See the Clark County Today video highlight (at 4:00 minutes).

Read the ESD 112 summary.

data from Healthy youth Survey at Increasing numbers of youth are feeling depressed, hopeless and having thoughts of suicide.
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Drug Take-Back Event Collects Over 4,300 Pounds of Medicine

Thank you to the nearly three dozen community groups who partnered for April Drug Take Back 2019. On April 27th, our partners collected a total of 4,311 pounds of medications and 1,307 pounds of sharps across eight sites in Clark, Skamania and Klickitat counties. That’s 633 pounds more of medications than were collected in October 2018.

Nearly half of the 1,623 participants reported it was their first time attending such an event. Compared with October’s event, the number of participants increased by 250.

We also introduced the Locks Save Lives campaign where volunteers encouraged families to lock up prescription medications, for their kids’ sake. Nearly 100 lockboxes were given to families.

Starting May 1, you can “Take the Pledge to Lock Your Meds” and download a free toolkit for the Locks Save Lives campaign at The toolkit is designed as a platform for prevention coalitions and community organizations to implement in their communities.

Click to read the Columbian article.

Click to read the full ESD 112 summary.

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Celebrating a Successful "Secure Your Cannabis" Launch

On April 20th we pilot-launched the Secure Your Cannabis project. Click to read the full announcement.

Coalition partners developed cards to remind retail cannabis customers to secure their products when they get home. When surveyed, 100% of customers or staff had a "very positive" or "somewhat positive" response to the design. 72% rated the design with 5/5 stars and 77% rated the message with 4/5 stars or higher. 89% of respondents said the cards would effectively persuade them to consider securing their cannabis after their purchase.

We used short-answer feedback to revise and improve our message and design. Thank you to all who engaged with us and shared ideas! Now we're excited to fully launch the project with communities and retailers across the state at

Contact if you're connected with a cannabis retailer, coalition or community organization who might be interested in implementing this project.

17% report using cannabis in past 30 days, 44% perceive cannabis easy to get, 33% perceive little/no risk in regular cannabis use as a youth.
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Southwest Region attends National Coalition Academy

Prevent Coalition, West Van for Youth, La Center United and Our Klickitat are attending the National Coalition Academy in Bellevue, WA for three weeks of intensive prevention training by CADCA. Academy coalitions learn to gather and assess data to discover what's happening in the community, build logic models that organize data and add structure, identify strategic prevention responses, evaluate outcomes, communicate outcomes, develop coalition sustainability and more.

We're excited to see how coalitions across the nation build collaboration, connection and reduce youth substance misuse and you can too! Visit to access free online courses and resources for coalition success.

Our team was so enthusiastic about the Strategic Prevention Framework we ordered temporary tattoos for all to enjoy!

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Mark Your Calendar

Prevent Coalition events:

Coalition Coordinators Meeting -- Coalition Appreciation Picnic Planning

May 9th from 9:30-11 am

ESD 112 Conference Center, Skamania Room

Vancouver, WA

Youth Substance Use Prevention Committee

Celebrate Secure Your Cannabis Launch

May 21st from 2:30 to 4:00 pm

ESD 112 Conference Center, Cowlitz Room

Vancouver, WA

Southwest Regional Network Meeting

May 23rd from 10-11:30 am

Skamania County Courthouse Annex Building

170 Vancouver Ave. Stevenson WA 98648

Coalition Appreciation Picnic

June 6th from 4:30-6:30 pm

Marshall Community Park

1015 E McLoughlin Vancouver, WA

Click for full calendar of coalition and community events.

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Other Training & Events

Community events not sponsored by Prevent Coalition:

Recorded webinar: Positive Discipline and Healthy Kids: An Opportunity for Washington State.

5/6 OSPI Healthy Youth Survey Training

At ESD 112 Klickitat/Skamania rooms from 1-4:30pm.

5/8 OSPI Healthy Youth Survey Webinar

From 9am-12pm.

5/8 Webinar: Adolescents, Young Adults and Opioid Use: When Is It a Problem? What to Do?

Online from 11-12pm.

5/13 Teens, DUI's and Consequences

From 6-7:30pm at Cascade Park Community Library.

5/20 - 5/31 Ethics In Prevention Online Course.

5/22 Webinar: Embedding Youth Engagement in Policy, Systems & Environmental Change

Online from 12-1pm.

Thanks for reading.