The vision of CONNECT is communities that support safe and healthy youth.
The mission of CONNECT is to prevent and reduce youth alcohol, tobacco and other drug use through partnership, education, intervention and community change. CONNECT brings together Washington County organizations and concerned individuals to accomplish its mission.
Membership includes representatives from five school districts, local government, law enforcement, health care providers, mental health services, chemical health treatment providers, parents and community members.
CONNECT with the Facts
- Using alcohol in moderation is not a normal part of adolescent behavior.
- The adolescent brain responds quickly and more intensively to excitement and rewards. This exuberance needs channeling toward healthy experiences.
- Alcohol related accidents among 15-24 year olds are the leading cause of death for this age group.
- Youth do not receive clear and consistent messages from their parents and communities that alcohol and other drug use is harmful
- Research indicates that the earlier an adolescent begins using drugs and alcohol, the greater the chances of his/her use progressing rapidly into chemical dependency, increased likelihood of mental health issues and other concerning behaviors.
CONNECT with Youth
- Parents and other caring adults can be one of the most important factors in whether or not a young person uses alcohol and other drugs.
- Connect with youth. Connect with their friends. Connect with their parents.
- Know what youth are planning and when they'll return. Open your home so they have a safe and receptive environment to hang out.
- Connect with your own alcohol use and set a healthy example for youth to see and follow.
- Provide youth with opportunities to contribute to their peer group, family, school and community. Youth that make healthy decisions can become our greatest alies in prevention.
CONNECT with Community
- Statistics show that communities with organized collaborative efforts like CHAC have 23% lower rates of alcohol use among youth, 10% lower rates of marijuana use and 10% lower rates of tobacco use than the national average.
- Communicating accurate information and establishing clear guidelines will cultivate stronger community norms across our county.
- Get involved! The role of the community is to clearly communicate that while most teens are making healthy choices, any underage alcohol, tobacco or other drug use is illegal, dangerous and unacceptable.
How Can I CONNECT?
Any organization or individual interested in the vision and mission of CONNECT can become a member. General CONNECT meetings are held the 4th Tuesday of every month from 8:30-10:30. Committee meetings are held monthly. We encourage active participation in CONNECT by attending general CONNECT meetings and/or committee meetings. Please contact Sheri Vrieze on how to become involved in CONNECT.
Sheri Vrieze 651-351-3140 firstname.lastname@example.org