Representatives from Elgin are in the Washington, D.C., area to join approximately 3,000 substance abuse prevention specialists and advocates from throughout the country for the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America's 28th annual National Leadership Forum.

"We are so excited to be able to spend several days with other similar organizations from across the country, learning and honing our prevention skills so our community can be a better place, one that doesn't suffer from the harms of drug and alcohol abuse," says Coalition For A Safe and Healthy Elgin coordinator Gil Feliciano.

"We plan to come back re-energized with new strategies under our belt to tackle drug use in Elgin and throughout the community."

CADCA's forum will cover a wide range of topics -- everything from how to prevent prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs and marijuana to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce underage drinking.

The coalition has recently impacted the community by offering "Opioids 101: Opioid Prevention and Overdose Education" and Naloxone training, in addition to Red Ribbon Week education and outreach at local middle and high schools.

The coalition representatives will hear from several leaders, including Richard Baum, acting director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and Dr. Bertha Madras, Harvard Medical School, who will both bring their expertise and insights to share.

Representatives from the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy Elgin were scheduled to meet with U.S. representatives and senators at the forum's Capitol Hill Day event Feb. 7.

The coalition meets every third Friday at Renz Addiction Counseling Center's 2 American Way location in Elgin. The next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 16, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is open to all community residents and businesses.

To learn more about the coalition, visit or

CADCA's National Leadership Forum, the nation's largest training event for community prevention leaders, treatment professionals and researchers, will take place at the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center Feb. 5-8.

Visit the forum website for details about training sessions, speakers, and special events at

The mission of Coalition for a Safe and Health Elgin is to promote a safe and healthy community, free of violence and substance abuse through education, prevention and action. It is funded in part by a Drug-Free Communities federal grant.

The mission of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America is to strengthen the capacity of community coalitions to create and maintain safe, healthy and drug-free communities globally.

This is accomplished by providing technical assistance and training, public policy advocacy, media strategies and marketing programs, training and special events.