January 11, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Denise Banker
Jefferson County Public Health
Students get more support for healthy choices
Port Townsend, WA –Jefferson County Public Health has secured funding to reduce underage substance use and its many negative consequences in the Port Townsend School District. Students and the community will benefit from over $200,000 in grant funding to be used to prevent and reduce the misuse and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opioids, and other drugs.
“Neurological research shows underage alcohol and other drug use has a negative impact on youth brain development,” said Karen Obermeyer, Health Educator, Jefferson County Public Health. “Our prevention efforts should be focused on keeping our children safe, healthy, and giving them the best possible start for their adult lives.”
Port Townsend qualified for Washington State’s Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) expansion grant to implement community and school-based drug prevention programs. The effort is a collaboration between the Port Townsend School District, Olympic Educational Service District 114, Jefferson County Public Health, and a newly developing community coalition. The Washington State Health Care Authority’s Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (HCA/DBHR) funds this project, and has funded CPWI in the Chimacum School District since 2013.
A Port Townsend Community Prevention Coalition is forming and includes broad community representation. The Coalition will assess the community’s unique strengths and needs, canvas existing resources, and then develop a strategic prevention plan. The plan will focus on policy and program development, as well as provide community and school-based educational information, programs, and training.
In addition to the coalition, efforts in the school are led by Student Assistance Professionals (SAPs). These professionals organize school-wide awareness activities related to substance abuse prevention; provide counseling support, coaching and referral to students who are at risk of dropping out or are impacted by opioid, alcohol, tobacco and drug use/abuse.
If you have questions or would like to join the efforts of the Port Townsend Community Prevention Coalition, please contact Jefferson County Public Health at 360-385-9438.
Always Working for a Safer & Healthier Jefferson County