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New Community Coalition Strives to Decrease and Prevent Substance Abuse and Violence Among Youth in the Upper Merion Area

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA, May 19, 2008 - Thanks to a recent grant, the Upper Merion Area School District has launched a new community coalition that offers prevention and intervention programs that decrease and prevent substance abuse and violence.

The Upper Merion Area Community Alliance for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST) is designed to decrease and prevent substance abuse and violence among youth in the Upper Merion Area, including Upper Merion Township and the boroughs of Bridgeport and West Conshohocken.

"As a recipient of a Drug Free Communities grant from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, CAST is one of the many nationwide initiatives that is seeking to create safer communities by establishing a coalition to empower various sectors of the community," explained PaShawnda Briley, CAST community mobilizer.

Partners in the CAST initiative include the Upper Merion Area School District, which serves as the lead agency; the police departments of Upper Merion Township, West Conshohocken and Bridgeport; Family Services; The Lincoln Center for Family and Youth; and the Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol, as well as local faith-based organizations, judges and parents.

Current prevention and intervention programs sponsored by Upper Merion Area CAST include Brief Strategic Family Therapy; DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education); Guiding Good Choices; Project ALERT; Staying Connected With Your Teen; and UMAAT (Upper Merion Area Assistance Team).

CAST is also looking for volunteers to become involved in the initiative. "CAST relies heavily on community, parent and student involvement for maximum impact and longevity, so we are looking for additional volunteers who can lend their time and expertise," said Briley.

For more information on CAST, please contact PaShawnda Briley, CAST community mobilizer, at 610-630-2111, ext. 255 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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