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Council on Chemical Abuse to Host Regional Prevention Week Award Celebration

Council on Chemical Abuse to Host Regional Prevention Week Award Celebration

READING—The Council on Chemical Abuse will host an event on Friday, May 12 that recognizes the regional winners and nominees of the Commonwealth Prevention Alliance 2023 PA Prevention Week Awards.

The award celebration will be held from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the RISE Center, 702 N. 8th Street in Reading. It will feature special guest speakers Radarra McLendon of The Village of Reading; Barbara Werner of Community Prevention Partnership; José Lugo of Recovery Coaching Services; and John T. Adams, District Attorney, Berks County.

The Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA) will also present a $5,000 scholarship to the 2023 recipient of the Pat Ganter Scholarship, which is awarded annually to a Berks County high school graduating senior pursuing a college degree in a field related to addiction prevention, treatment or recovery. This year’s winner is Eva Steiner, a senior at Conrad Weiser High School who plans to major in psychology specializing in substance use disorders at Towson University in Maryland.

The award celebration is one of four 2023 Commonwealth Prevention Alliance PA Prevention Week Awards events being held during the week of May 7-13 to celebrate exemplary prevention efforts happening across the state. A wide variety of over 100 individuals, coalitions, and teams from across Pennsylvania were nominated. The COCA event will recognize organizations and individuals from Region 2, which encompasses 15 eastern PA counties.

“COCA is pleased to host this event which will recognize the hard work that is being done by prevention professionals across the region to provide our youth and community with the tools and resources to avoid substance use and live healthy lives,” said COCA Executive Director Kathleen Noll.

The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance (CPA) is a private non-profit whose mission is to reimagine prevention, advocate for equity and critical resources, and share best and promising practices. PA Prevention Week— part of National Prevention Week (NPW) hosted by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) — is an annual public education platform bringing together communities and organizations to raise awareness about the importance of substance use prevention and positive mental health.

“PA Prevention Week aims to promote prevention year-round,” says Jeff Hanley, CPA Executive Director. “Prevention happens in all of our communities, and we are asking prevention professionals, organizations, and coalitions to use this week to advocate for their programming, recognize local prevention partners and champions, and use social media to highlight their prevention successes.”

In addition, CPA will host its 33nd annual statewide prevention conference June 7 to 9, 2023. The conference aims to support all of the professionals in the field as they continue to work hard to improve the public health of our communities. The conference will feature a dynamic lineup of speakers, keynotes, workshops, and 30-minute power sessions, led by PA Prevention Professionals. Additional details including keynote speakers and in-person/virtual options for registration can be found here:

About the Council on Chemical Abuse

Established in 1971 by a group of community members, the Council on Chemical Abuse was formed as a private non-profit organization to address rising concerns of drug and alcohol use in Berks County. The Berks County Commissioners contract with the Council on Chemical Abuse (COCA) as the Single County Authority for Berks County, PA. As the coordinating agency for publicly supported drug and alcohol programming in the county, COCA and its partners provide an array of prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery services.

About The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance

CPA is a member-driven, grassroots organization whose mission is to reimagine prevention, advocate for equity and critical resources, and share best and promising practices. We are a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. Since 1976, CPA has kept the needs and concerns of the prevention professional and the field of substance abuse prevention as its key focus, and today it continues to be the foremost voice for prevention in Pennsylvania.