Beaverton Together is a volunteer run, nonprofit, community drug prevention coalition that was founded in 1990. We are part of the Oregon Together initiative that was created to support the development of community- based coalitions to prevent youth substance abuse. The “Together” communities, as they were called, were built on the “Communities That Care” model. Communities That Care provided a coalition structure, processes for gathering needs and resources, guidelines for selecting prevention strategies, and evaluation tools. Twenty years later, Beaverton Together remains an effective and viable community coalition that is committed to preventing youth substance abuse. Our mission is “to work together to mobilize community action and resources to promote safe and drug-free lifestyles in Beaverton youth.”
How do coalitions make a difference in communities?
Coalition building is a smart strategy that promotes coordination and collaboration and makes efficient use
of limited community resources. By connecting multiple sectors of the community in a comprehensive approach, community coalitions are achieving real outcomes.”
Serving as the catalyst, Beaverton Together brings the community together in brainstorming and implementing prevention strategies for the protection of our youth. Networking with our community partners, we focus on creating environmental change in our community. Some of the strategies necessary to affect community change are:
- Providing information
- Reducing barriers
- Enhancing skills
- Providing support
- Facilitating community partnerships
Risk and Protective Factors in Drug Abuse Prevention
In more than 20 years of drug abuse research, NIDA has identified important principles for prevention programs in the family, school, and community. Prevention programs often are designed to enhance "protective factors" and to reduce "risk factors." Protective factors are those associated with reduced potential for drug use. Risk factors are those that make drug use more likely. Research has shown that many of the same factors apply to other behaviors such as youth violence, delinquency, school dropout, risky sexual behaviors, and teen pregnancy.
- Strong and positive family bonds;
- Parental monitoring of children's activities and peers;
- Clear rules of conduct that are consistently enforced within the family;
- Involvement of parents in the lives of their children;
- Success in school performance; strong bonds with institutions, such as school and religious organizations; and
- Adoption of conventional norms about drug use.
- Chaotic home environments, particularly in which parents abuse substances or suffer from mental illnesses;
- Ineffective parenting, especially with children with difficult temperaments or conduct disorders;
- Lack of parent-child attachments and nurturing;
- Inappropriately shy or aggressive behavior in the classroom;
- Failure in school performance;
- Poor social coping skills;
- Affiliations with peers displaying deviant behaviors; and
- Perceptions of approval of drug-using behaviors in family, work, school, peer, and community environments.
Courtesy of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA),