Health advocates from Waxahachie are headed to Austin, Texas to join more than 1,300 substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from throughout the country for Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA) 2013 Mid-Year Training Institute.

CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute is a unique training opportunity designed specifically for community-based substance abuse prevention organizations.

Participants will take part in a variety of lectures and hands-on sessions to expand their knowledge in prevention science and improve their skills in implementing evidence-based strategies to reduce drug and alcohol use.

This year’s Mid-Year, held at the Hilton Austin and The Austin Convention Center, will feature a number of renown experts in the field of substance abuse prevention research, such as social change expert Pennie Foster-Fishman, a professor in the department of psychology and a senior outreach fellow in University Outreach and Engagement at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Mich.; Pam Hyde, administrator of the substance abuse and mental health services administration; and Dr. Giovanni Serpelloni, director,  department of anti-drug policies of the presidency of the Council of Ministries, Italian Government.

The theme this year is “Big Ideas for Social Change.”

“We are so excited to be able to spend a week with other similar organizations from across the country, learning and honing our skills so we can more effectively prevent drug and alcohol abuse,” said Shari Phillips, IMPACT Waxahachie coalition coordinator. “We hope to come back reenergized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use and its associated problems in Waxahachie.”

Coalitions will learn the latest information on emerging drugs like bath salts and spice as well as strategies to tackle prescription drug abuse, underage drinking, tobacco use and marijuana use.

The coalition has recently worked on the “Crazy for my Kids” Safe Home Network, the bi-annual Prescription Drug Take Back Event, and is currently educating the community on the benefits of a “Smoke Free” Ordinance.

Drug Prevention Resources, Inc. is dedicated to preventing youth substance abuse through the innovative delivery of evidence-based strategies that empower youth, families and communities.

IMPACT Waxahachie is a group of community volunteers who work together to provide public education, law enforcement, and public policy strategies to prevent youth substance abuse and build communities that are safe, healthy and drug-free.