Washburn County’s Community Alliance for Prevention (CAP) was recently awarded a Brighter Futures Initiative grant to help prevent youth alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. CAP was formed in 2018 in order to bring various community entities together with an emphasis on prevention during the formative years of a young person’s life.  CAP was a result of steadily rising trends of drug and alcohol use in most communities and schools.  Partners include each school district in the county, Family Resource Center, Washburn County Health and Human services, Spooner Library, local religious leaders, among others. Washburn County Health and Human Services Department will act as the fiscal agent throughout the three year grant period.  The funding will be used to implement the Positive Action Program in Washburn County schools and other organizations serving children.

The timing coincides with the hiring of Darin Gleason, Washburn County’s first AODA Prevention Specialist. He is not new to the area however as he has lived in Shell Lake for 16 years with his family.  Prior experience for Darin included working as a State Probation/Parole Agent in Burnett County for many years, and at a residential treatment facility as a case manager and counselor. Darin’s primary responsibilities will be managing the grant while pursuing other opportunities in prevention activities within the County. Darin stated, “Early intervention for our youth is paramount to keep our children out of the Justice System later on in life, giving them the ability to lead prosperous and pro-social lifestyles.”

 “With nearly 50% of students in Washburn County reporting they feel drugs are a problem at their school, we know a program like this is very much needed”, stated Jim LeDuc, Health and Human Services Director. “We are excited to be able to offer this service to the schools and youth within our county.”

Positive Action is a program proven by science to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug use in students. It is based on the idea when we feel good about ourselves, we do positive actions. The goal of the program is to emphasize actions that promote a healthy and positive lifestyle.

All Washburn County Schools will have access to the program and training and implementation can start immediately.  For more information on the Positive Action Program please visit https://www.positiveaction.net/ or contact Darin Gleason at 715-645-9032 or DGleason@co.washburn.wi.us.

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