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HK Coalition Attends CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute to Increase Substance Use and Misuse Prevention Efforts

By Matt McEwen.

Higganum, CT – HK’s Healthy Community Healthy Kids (HC-HK) Coalition virtually joined thousands of substance use and misuse prevention specialists and community coalition advocates from July 9 – 15, 2021, for CADCA’s (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s) 20th Annual Mid-Year Training Institute.

“Our coalition was honored to be part of CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute,” stated Matt McEwen, Prevention Coordinator for HK Youth and Family Services (HKYFS). “During the week, we worked on building our skills and strategies to address substance misuse issues throughout Haddam-Killingworth. We also got the opportunity to network and share strategies with fellow coalition leaders, which sparked new substance misuse prevention ideas to incorporate into our community. Three members of our coalition attended the training institute.  We hope to grow that number next year.”

The theme of this year’s CADCA Mid-Year Training Institute was “Every Day CADCA Trains: Community Coalition Leaders.” More than 100 sessions were offered over five days of training for adults, youth, and international prevention advocates featuring a plethora of topics ranging from addressing the unique needs of LGBTQ+ youth, to the state of science with Marijuana and Opioids, and the prevention of underage drinking.

McEwen, a 2010 HKHS graduate, is the newest among the ranks at HKYFS. As Prevention Coordinator, he will actively mobilize volunteers and community groups across all sectors of the HK community to strengthen and expand the reach of HKYFS and the HC-HK Coalition. “I am thrilled to give back to my community in this role and I look forward to advancing the Coalition’s mission of preventing and reducing substance abuse, especially among HK youth. The skills we learned through CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute will significantly enhance our initiatives and further our impact,” McEwen stated.

Mid-Year attendees also had the opportunity to open a dialogue with some of the nation’s top prevention leaders, who featured as speakers for the event. This year’s featured speakers included Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Regina LaBelle, Acting Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, George F. Koob , M.D., Director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Robert L. DuPont , M.D., President of the Institute for Behavior and Health, Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D., Professor of Psychobiology Department of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, and many more.


Youth and Family Services of Haddam-Killingworth is committed to enhancing child and youth development, enriching local families, and promoting a healthy community in Haddam, Killingworth, and the surrounding areas. To get involved with the HC-HK Coalition, contact Matt McEwen at mmcewen@hkyfs.org.

Sharon Challenger
I am a professional Scenic Artist and have also worked as a Systems Analyst and Senior Programmer Analyst for the Travelers and Yale University. Education: Post University, Wesleyan University and Yale University School of Drama.

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