Attending CADCA’s 2013 Mid-Year Training Institute

Kirstie Bakke

This past week the Spearfish Community Coalition had two representatives at CADCA’s 2013 Mid-Year Training Institute in Austin, TX.  Janelle Rauterkus and I were among more than 1,700 substance abuse prevention and treatment specialists from across the country.

This one-of-a-kind intensive training opportunity offered participants more than 75 half-day and full-day courses on a wide range of topics – everything from how to address prescription drug abuse and the abuse of synthetic drugs to how to create tobacco-free environments and develop policies to reduce marijuana use and underage drinking within your community.

The conference began Sunday, July 21 and concluded Thursday, July 25. This was the first CADCA conference I have ever attended and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. There were so many interesting courses and opportunities it was hard to choose just two courses to attend each day.

The first course I attended was about “branding” your coalition. I entered a room of well over 300 people and was instantly greeted with a feeling of excitement. I was surrounded by people who were all there because they want to make a positive difference within their communities. My table was eager to network and share their experiences and their campaigns within their communities. This plethora of information from my group-mates was welcoming and inspiring.

The first course I attended definitely set the tone for the rest of the week. There were so many people I met throughout the week that were just exploding with experiences and ideas for substance abuse prevention. You can’t help but be inspired with all the positive energy from all the attendees and the presenters. I am excited to take this valuable information and share it with Spearfish and the surrounding communities.

If you would like to hear more about my experiences at CADCA’s Mid-Year Training Institute feel free to contact me at 717-1417 or on the Spearfish Community Coalition’s Facebook page. Be sure to keep an eye for our upcoming events and campaigns.