Over 1,700 community leaders across the nation convened in Austin, Texas last month to strengthen their capacity to create and maintain drug-free communities. Stephanie, Michael and I took on the Lone-Star state, and triple digit temperatures, to participate in CADCA’s 12th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute. Eight presentation tracks engaged participants from everything on how to address prescription drug misuse to how to mobilize resources to achieve large scale social change. I left Texas encouraged but also anxious of what lies ahead for ASAP.
As I listened to coalition members across the country discuss their barriers to developing effective drug coalitions, I counted our own blessings of being a part of a young coalition which has already made remarkable environmental change in Anderson County. This change is no doubt due to our strong and supportive Coalition membership, superior guidance from our Board of Directors, and multi-talents of our Executive Director and staff.
However, I must admit that I am somewhat fearful of what lies ahead. We cannot rest on our laurels as a coalition. I took away from CADCA that there are too many horrible synthetic drugs, such as Krokodil, that are being created across the world today. One day this monster will show its ugly head here in Anderson County just like Heroin will soon try to do. We must remain vigilant with our vision to create safe, healthy and drug-free communities. ASAP’s work has just begun.
In closing, I am reminded of the notable quote from author Margaret Mead, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Let us continue to be persistent as a coalition and fight the good fight!