Youth Prevention Leaders Tackle the Summit!

The San Juan Island Prevention Coalition, (SJIPC) helps support youth leadership training opportunities for local teens, with an ask to give back to their community with their new skills. The WA. State Prevention Summit in Yakima, draws over 400 youth.

Rock Solid, a youth prevention club, was created by Zach Fincher on the car ride home after attending his first Summit in 2011. In May 2017, Rock Solid won Grand Prize for their community project at the Spring Youth Forum, competing amongst 44 teams from across the State. Rock Solid was asked to present at this year’s Summit.

Here’s what some of their members had to say.

“It was really great seeing how our project impacted and inspired other groups. One small group of girls came up after one of our presentations, asking if we had any tips to “get to where we are”. It really opened my eyes to see we have gotten to a goal so many strive for. For that, I am grateful for this opportunity to learn from others and teach others, including myself.”  Chiara Power, Rock Solid

“It was a good feeling helping others by sharing our experiences in prevention projects. I never really thought about it before, but hearing from these teens, they said they really admired the work we did for our community and wanted to know how they could do something like this for their community. It kind of made my day.” Luke Fincher, Rock Solid

“As a presenter this year, I get to pay it forward to the next group of teens at the Summit, all wide-eyed and eager to help bring back positive change for their schools and communities. I have been inspired to help others because of my involvement in community prevention projects that took shape at this Summit. I’m grateful to the SJIPC for supporting our efforts.” Zach Fincher, Rock Solid

“Dear World, I wish to strive with positive and inspirational thoughts that will not only help me, but help others that surround me, and around the world to help them with whatever they are going through. I want to let them know they are not alone and maybe if more people spoke more of positive, inspirational thoughts and ideas, maybe it could help our communities be stronger.” Jaida Cruz, Rock Solid

Members of HOTS (Helping Out Teens Society) at FHMS also made the trek to Yakima.

“I found our Emcee, Jordan Chaney, to be very inspirational. I enjoyed the various workshops, but what I most enjoyed was meeting new people. A shoutout to our Lopezian Coalition friends we met at the Summit and enjoyed a friendly game of Uno with on the ferry ride home! Robin Taylor, HOTS

“It was a memorable experience, I have to say that the poetry workshop was very emotional. I wrote a ballad, and I think that poetry is a great outlet. Overall, I suggest someone goes to the Summit at least once in their life, who knows, maybe I’ll present there one day.    Ramona Flierl, HOTS

Powerful, Prevention Works!


PHOTO: San Juan Island and Lopez Island Prevention Coalitions meet up in Yakima for the WA. State Prevention Summit. Youth, Chaperones, and Coordinators working together to create positive change in our communities.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Survey Work Ahead! Have you shared your thoughts yet? Thank you!



The Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) Community Survey is an anonymous annual statewide survey administered by all of the CPWI coalitions in Washington state.

The Community Survey captures our local San Juan Island attitudes about teen alcohol and drug use, as well as prevention programming. This data helps to inform our coalition’s strategies, as well as the state strategies.

Thank you for taking the time, about 7-10 minutes, to help our local Prevention Coalition by answering these questions. This is an annual requirement for our funding, but more importantly, knowing the opinion of our community helps us to make informed decisions, and to help us better communicate the prevention work to the community. Thank you for helping our San Juan Island Prevention Coalition!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

E-Cigarettes and Young People: A Public Health Concern

Talk with teens and young adults you know about the dangers of e-cigarette use.

E-cigarettes, devices that typically deliver nicotine, flavorings, and other additives to users through an inhaled aerosol, are a rapidly emerging trend, and are especially popular among youth and young adults. These devices are referred to by a variety of names, including “e-cigs,” “e-hookahs,” “mods,” “vape pens,” “vapes,” and “tank systems.” E-cigarettes can also be used to deliver other drugs besides nicotine, such as marijuana.

Scientists are still learning more about how e-cigarettes affect health. However, there is already enough evidence to justify efforts to prevent e-cigarette use by young people. We know that the vapor from e-cigarettes is harmful because it contains harmful ingredients, including nicotine. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can cause addiction and can harm the developing brain.

In 2016, a U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults became the first report issued by a federal agency that carefully reviewed the public health issue of e-cigarettes and their impact on our nation’s young people. Because most tobacco use starts during adolescence, actions to protect our nation’s young people from a lifetime of nicotine addiction are critical.

Graphic: E-cigarette Use Among Youth and Youth Adults: A report of the Surgeon General. Visit 2016 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report informs the public about how e-cigarettes impact our nation’s young adults.

E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used form of tobacco by youth in the U.S. And dual use, or using both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes, is common among youth and young adults 18-25 years of age. Reasons reported by young people for using e-cigarettes include curiosity, taste, and the belief that e-cigarettes are less harmful than other tobacco products.

Flavored e-cigarettes are very popular, especially with young adults. More than 9 of every 10 young adult e-cigarette users said they use e-cigarettes flavored to taste like menthol, alcohol, candy, fruit, chocolate, or other sweets. More than 8 of every 10 youth ages 12-17 who use e-cigarettes said they use flavored e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are a 2.5 billion dollar business in the U.S. As of 2014, the e-cigarette industry spent $125 million a year to advertise their products, and used many of the techniques that made traditional cigarettes popular such as sexual content and customer satisfaction. We know that marketing and advertising of conventional tobacco products like cigarettes can lead youth to use tobacco, and scientists are also finding that youth who are exposed to e-cigarette advertisements are more likely to use the product than youth who are not exposed.

What You Can Do

It is important to prevent harm to youth and young adults from e-cigarettes. We know enough to take action now to protect the health of our nation’s young people. Everyone has a role, including parents, health care providers, teachers, and others who work with and care about young people.

Mother and son looking at laptopTalk with your teen or other young people about the dangers of e-cigarettes.

You can start by talking to your kids or to other young people you know about the dangers of e-cigarettes. Tell them about the harm that nicotine (in any form) can do to their growing brain. Let them know that you stand strong against them using any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, now or in the future. Even if you have used tobacco yourself, they will listen if you discuss your struggles with nicotine addiction. The following are specific actions that parents and other adults can take to reduce young people’s exposure to e-cigarettes:

  • Restrict E-cigarette Use Around Young People. Don’t let anyone use e-cigarettes or other tobacco products around young people. Not only are youth watching the behaviors of others as an example, but they’re also at risk of exposure to nicotine and other chemicals that can be harmful to their health.
  • Visit Tobacco-Free Locations. Avoid restaurants and other locations that allow use of tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.
  • Ensure School is Tobacco-Free. Check with your school administration to ensure your child’s school, college, or university is completely tobacco-free, including being free of e-cigarettes.
  • Make Your Home Tobacco-Free. Make your home and vehicles tobacco-free by not allowing use of any tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by family members, friends, and guests. This is an important step to fully protect your children from exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke and secondhand aerosol from e-cigarettes.
  • Be an Example. Be an example to youth by living tobacco-free. Even if you’re quitting tobacco, share the reasons why you want to be tobacco-free and ask for support in your journey.

Available Resources

If you need a little help with starting the conversation about e-cigarettes, the following resources, available on the Surgeon General’s website on e-cigarettes, might help:

  • The Parent Tip Sheet[5.2 MB] offers ideas for conversation starters. Print this for yourself or share it with your children. Ask them what they think after reading the tip sheet.
  • A video on the harms of nicotine for the developing brain, which features the U.S. Surgeon General, is available for you to watch or share with your child.
  • A fact sheet[114 KB] features key findings from the Surgeon General’s Report on e-cigarette use among youth and young adults that you can share with your child.

Remember, youth tobacco use in any form, including e-cigarettes, is unsafe. Working together, we can keep America’s youth and young adults safe from the dangers associated with tobacco use and nicotine addiction.

Resources from

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Big Tobacco having to run Corrective Statements

  • Starting November 26, tobacco companies must run court-ordered TV and newspaper ads that tell the truth about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke. Why? Because a federal court found they engaged in a decades-long conspiracy to deceive the American people. Learn more:
  • A federal court found tobacco companies lied about the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke – and how they designed cigarettes to make them more addictive. Now the companies must run court-ordered TV and newspaper ads – called corrective statements – that tell the truth. Learn more:

    Thank you for your dedication and work to help prevent more youth from starting a lifelong addiction to tobacco products.  Thank you for sharing these resources so we may inform our community.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) Launches National Campaign “High Means DUI”

SAM Launches National Campaign “High Means DUI” to Raise Awareness on the Harms of Driving While High and Support Pro-Active Legislation
Local Contact: Dana Stevens 760-317-6716
National Contact:

(SAN DIEGO) – SAM, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a 501 c-3 nonprofit organization, launched “High Means DUI” today to combat the growing perception that driving under the influence of marijuana is safe. The campaign, which launched in San Diego this week and will be unveiled across the nation, will encompass a website, toolkit for community-based organizations, stories of the tragic consequences of driving while high, billboards, and artwork for use by local groups. The campaign also aims to support policies that reduce the prevalence of driving while high.

“The reckless marijuana industry has rushed to profit from highly-potent THC products, but they have done nothing to prevent or address the high prevalence of marijuana-impaired driving,” said Kevin A. Sabet, President and CEO of SAM, a group co-founded by former Congressman Patrick Kennedy. “Decision makers often don’t know where to go on this issue, so we wanted to elevate its importance and get this issue on the national agenda. We have made incredible strides with drunk driving over the past few decades, but little attention has focused on marijuana-impaired driving, especially because THC can impair a driver long after one feels intoxicated.”

Parents and loved ones who have lost family and friends to drivers impaired by marijuana will join public safety advocates and other concerned citizens at a press conference in San Diego on Tuesday. The campaign’s goals are to raise awareness about drugged driving and dangers of driving under the influence of THC and to advocate for sensible marijuana driving policies that promote road safety.

“I think that making the public aware about the danger of marijuana impaired driving is so important because I don’t want another family to suffer the devastating loss my family and our community have felt,” said Corinne LaMarca Gasper, an Ohio mother whose daughter was killed by a marijuana impaired driver.

“It’s time the voices of victims are heard,” said Dana Stevens, SAM’s Grassroots and Field Coordinator, who is in charge of the campaign. “There are thousands of victims due to marijuana on the roadways every year, and we intend to help amplify their voice.”

States that have approved either medical marijuana and/or commercial, legal marijuana have experienced a rapid increase in traffic crashes and fatalities where marijuana was a factor, including:


High Means DUI ( is a project of
Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) (

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Marijuana is Addictive

The adolescent brain is especially susceptible to marijuana use. 1 in 6 teens become addicted, where 1 in 10 adults who try marijuana will become addicted to it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Suicide Prevention

SAMHSA is a proud partner of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention(link is external), a public-private partnership with more than 200 participating organizations advancing the national strategy for suicide prevention. SAMHSA funds the Suicide Prevention Resource Center to act as Executive Secretariat to the Action Alliance. Learn about the Action Alliance’s Your Life Matters! campaign, which gives faith communities of every tradition, philosophy, sect, or denomination an opportunity to dedicate one Sabbath each year, preferably corresponding to World Suicide Prevention Day, to celebrate life, hope, and reasons to live.

SAMHSA is committed to continuing to working with its federal partners and private organizations to provide states, territories, tribal entities, communities, and the public with the assistance and prevention resources they need. SAMHSA offers:

Learn more about:

Warning Signs of Suicidal Behavior

These signs may mean that someone is at risk for suicide. Risk is greater if the behavior is new, or has increased, and if it seems related to a painful event, loss, or change:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself
  • Talking about feeling hopeless or having no reason to live
  • Talking about feeling trapped or being in unbearable pain
  • Talking about being a burden to others
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs
  • Acting anxious or agitated; behaving recklessly
  • Sleeping too little or too much
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge
  • Displaying extreme mood swings

Download the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Wallet Card: Learn the Warning Signs – 2005 in English or en Español.

What You Can Do

If you believe someone may be thinking about suicide:

  • Ask them if they are thinking about killing themselves. (This will not put the idea into their head or make it more likely that they will attempt suicide.)
  • Listen without judging and show you care.
  • Stay with the person (or make sure the person is in a private, secure place with another caring person) until you can get further help.
  • Remove any objects that could be used in a suicide attempt.
  • Call SAMHSA’s National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and follow their guidance.
  • If danger for self-harm seems imminent, call 911.

Everyone has a role to play in preventing suicide. For instance, faith communities can work to prevent suicide simply by fostering cultures and norms that are life-preserving, providing perspective and social support to community members, and helping people navigate the struggles of life to find a sustainable sense of hope, meaning, and purpose. For information about how you can help, visit the Suicide Prevention Resource Center’s customized information sheets for parents, teachers, co-workers, and others(link is external).

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Underage Drinking is Everyone’s Problem.

Teens don’t need alcohol to fit in, deal with stress, or have fun.

Alcohol can be harmful to the health of adolescents, but thankfully most young people ages 12 to 20 do not drink.

Talk, they listen. Parents are still the number 1 influence in their child’s life. Set rules, talk about expectations and the consequences of underage drinking.

Talking To Kids About Alcohol
5 Conversation Goals

1. Show you disapprove of underage drinking.

More than 80% of young people ages 10-18 say their parents are the leading influence on their decision to drink or not drink. So they really are listening, and it’s important that you send a clear and strong message.

2. Show you care about your child’s happiness and well-being.

Young people are more likely to listen when they know you’re on their side. Try to reinforce why you don’t want your child to drink—not just because you say so, but because you want your child to be happy and safe. The conversation will go a lot better if you’re working with, and not against, your child.

3. Show you’re a good source of information about alcohol.

You want your child to be making informed decisions about drinking, with reliable information about its dangers. You don’t want your child to be learning about alcohol from friends, the internet, or the media—you want to establish yourself as a trustworthy source of information.

4. Show you’re paying attention and you’ll notice if your child drinks.

You want to show you’re keeping an eye on your child, because young people are more likely to drink if they think no one will notice. There are many subtle ways to do this without prying.

5. Build your child’s skills and strategies for avoiding underage drinking.

Even if your child doesn’t want to drink, peer pressure is a powerful thing. It could be tempting to drink just to avoid looking uncool. To prepare your child to resist peer pressure, you’ll need to build skills and practice them.

Keep it low-key. Don’t worry, you don’t have to get everything across in one talk. Many small talks are better.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

This FRIDAY and SATURDAY only! See you there, if you dare!

This is a fundraiser for the San Juan Island Prevention Coalition thanks to the sponsors of the Friday Harbor Jolly Trolley and the San Juan County Fair! Come support our youth for leadership training opportunities, proceeds will help cover these costs! Thanks for your support! See you there, if you dare!


Contact Debbi Fincher 360-472-0803 or 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Survey Work Ahead! Please share your input. Thank you!



The Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI) Community Survey is an anonymous annual statewide survey administered by all of the CPWI coalitions in Washington state.

The Community Survey captures our local San Juan Island attitudes about teen alcohol and drug use, as well as prevention programming. This data helps to inform our coalition’s strategies, as well as the state strategies.

Thank you for taking the time, about 7-10 minutes, to help our local Prevention Coalition by answering these questions. This is an annual requirement for our funding, but more importantly, knowing the opinion of our community helps us to make informed decisions, and to help us better communicate the prevention work to the community. Thank you for helping our San Juan Island Prevention Coalition!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment