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The Community Alliance for a Safer Tomorrow to attend National Substance Abuse Prevention Conference

Washington, D.C. – Health advocates from the Upper Merion Area are headed to Washington, D.C. Feb. 7th to join nearly 3,000 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's (CADCA) 21st annual National Leadership Forum.

Besides the opportunity to learn the latest strategies to prevent alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, they will also hear from such conference headliners as Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Howard Koh MD, Ph.D., Assistant Secretary of Health for the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.

The coalition will also have the opportunity to meet and brief their state’s Congressmen and women and Senators on Capitol Hill and ask questions of national policymakers, researchers and media at federal town hall meetings.

“We are so excited to be able to spend a week in our nation’s Capitol, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a better place, one that doesn’t suffer from the harms of drug and alcohol abuse,” says Kathy Ashbridge, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services for the Upper Merion Area School District and Director of CAST. “We hope to come back reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle our drug use in the Upper Merion Township, the Borough of West Conshohocken and Bridgeport.”

The coalition has recently worked on an essay scholarship contest offering high school students up to $500 for college books and supplies for writing a persuasive essay on the dangers of smoking marijuana. The essay contest winners will be announced February 24th, 2011. The middle school CAST club has also recently participated in Project Sticker Shock at a local beer distributor in Bridgeport and developed an original and creative public service announcement about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.  After choosing the priority risk factor for 2010- 2012, the CAST Board is in the process of strategic planning to determine activities and environmental strategies that will best address our top three risk factors: low commitment to school, family management, and community norms toward drug and alcohol use.

CADCA's National Leadership Forum is the nation's largest training for substance abuse prevention and treatment professionals and researchers, featuring more than 100 training courses to help community and state leaders prevent and reduce substance abuse and its related problems. CADCA is the national membership organization representing more than 5,000 coalitions and affiliates working to make America’s communities safe, healthy and drug-free. CADCA's mission is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, conferences, and special events. Learn more at:

For more information about CADCA’s National Leadership Forum, visit

Members of the media interested in press credentials to attend CADCA’s National Leadership Forum should contact Natalia Martinez Duncan at 703-706-0560, Ext. 256 or

The mission of the Upper Merion Community Alliance for a Safer Tomorrow (CAST) is to prevent substance abuse and violence by promoting the development of pro-social attitudes and behaviors among youth and their families and to generate among youth a realistic awareness of negative peer, community, and societal influences and knowledge of how to effectively contend with them.


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This website was developed,  in part, under a grant number SP 14395-07 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA or HHS.