North Coastal Prevention Coalition Membership
The Coalition is a broad-based group of professionals and residents representing education, law enforcement, prevention and treatment, among others.The Coalition incorporated in 1993 as a non-profit organization, and partners with the Vista Community Clinic to manage program grants to prevent substance abuse problems within the community.
Since 1993, the Coalition has taken a community level approach to prevention by advocating for policy and system changes to reduce the problems of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
Prevention efforts have historically focused on educating individuals about the harms of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs with the belief that accurate information will lead people to make healthy choices.While individuals need and deserve accurate information, research suggests that prevention efforts aimed at educating individuals have limited success and require substantial resources. Success is further limited when the surrounding community environments are not addressed, especially when these environments often send mixed messages and contribute to people making unhealthy decisions.
“Environmental” prevention strategies address substance use, and its resulting negative social impact, as a problem within communities and focuses on system-wide changes that affect entire communities and populations of people.Strategies often involve addressing public policies and social norms to change the community environments contributing to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug problems.Examples of environmental prevention strategies that have been supported by the North Coastal Prevention Coalition include:
- Increased enforcement of sales to minors laws to increase retailer compliance and reduce alcohol and tobacco availability to young people;
- Local “social host” ordinances to hold adults responsible for permitting underage drinking in social settings;
- Zoning ordinances and Conditional Use Permits (CUPs) to reduce the availability of stores that sell drug paraphernalia.
- Tobacco retail licensing ordinances to give local governments a tool to impose consequences on retailers that continually sell tobacco to minors.
Coalition accomplishments in recent years include:
Sponsoring community forums on underage drinking in Carlsbad, Oceanside, and Vista, and creating a DVD that is aired on Time Warner cable.
Collaborating with law enforcement in Oceanside and Vista to train officers and inform the public about social host ordinances, which impose penalties for providing alcohol to minors at home parties.Since 2007, two billboards have been placed along the 78 freeway with corresponding media coverage.In addition, information was sent to all Oceanside residents in the July 2007 water bill, and KOCT produced a 9 minute video to inform the public.
Sponsoring the annual “420 Remix – A Celebration of Sober and Drug Free Life Choices” event to reclaim April 20 from a ‘marijuana holiday.’In addition to this annual event, NCPC works to eliminate drug paraphernalia and pro-drug items in retail establishments and outdoor street fairs.Over 16 North County street fairs have adopted vendor policies prohibiting the sale of “tobacco products, tobacco/drug paraphernalia or any item that promotes the use of illicit substances.”
Facilitating the North Coastal Prevention YOUTH Coalition, to provide leadership and advocacy training to high school age youth interested in substance abuse prevention.Youth coalition members have spoken at council meetings on various topics, including supporting Oceanside’s smoke free beaches, pier and parks policy.
Facilitating the Eastside Neighborhood Association in Oceanside to develop community building and leadership skills among neighborhood residents. ENA organized the first Día del Niño event in 2005, which has grown into an annual tradition bringing over 1,000 residents and children to Joe Balderrama Park.