April is Alcohol Awareness Month

09 Apr April is Alcohol Awareness Month

April is Alcohol Awareness Month, focused on increasing public awareness and understanding, reducing stigma, and encouraging local communities to focus on alcoholism and alcohol-related issues.

Community Coalition’s (CoCo’s) origin story is intimately tied to addressing addiction and prevention. In 1990, during a period of economic and social upheaval, the Community Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention & Treatment emerged with a powerful vision and a belief that Black and Brown communities can effectively address the challenges of violence and addiction with compassionate alternatives to fear and punishment. Early on, CoCo surveyed South L.A. residents for solutions to crack-related violence, crime, and substance abuse. From the outset, we have worked to tackle critical community issues, such as nuisance liquor stores and motels and root causes for which we organize with residents to create policy solutions that strengthen the community rather than divide it.

One of Community Coalition’s first campaigns “Rebuild South Central Without Liquor Stores” (LA Times) led to national recognition and implementation as a public health model. It demonstrates that nuisance abatement and land use policy improve public safety. After the 1992 Civil Unrest, this campaign led to the prevention of the rebuilding of over 150 liquor stores that were destroyed throughout South Central. Following this success, CoCo members helped author the citywide Nuisance Abatement Ordinance that was passed in 2008. 

Check out this video: Ms. Maria Rutledge, CoCo Member Leader, and Carlos Leon, CoCo Director of Community Health Initiatives, take us on an in-depth look into CoCo’s organizing efforts to transform nuisance businesses.

Over the past 30 years, Community Coalition has remained committed to this innovative approach by amplifying the voices of our members, empowering the community, participating in coalitions, and addressing the underlying causes of poverty, crime, and violence. Together, we have and continue to build a more prosperous, safer, and healthier South L.A.

Here are links to national, state, and local resources on the prevention and treatment of alcohol and/or drug use and other health-related issues.

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