Southeast Los Angeles Alcohol and Other Drugs Taskforce
The Wall-Las Memorias Project (TWLMP) spearheaded the development and funding of a series of methamphetamine task forces by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through its leadership in the Act Now Against Meth Coalition. The effort helped create the Greater East Los Angeles Meth Task Force—an effort which has generated national attention for its work in mobilizing the Latino community to address the meth epidemic. TWLMP spearheaded the effort for addressing the meth epidemic, demanding a response from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors which led to funding of $1.3 million for treatment and prevention services.
TWLMP also led the executive level conversations with the Los Angeles County officials on Meth and HIV Task Force. Through the work of the taskforce and other agencies countywide, the epidemic subsided. But our work wasn’t over in addressing alcohol and drug abuse in the Latino community. Seeing the need to address the issue centered in the greater Southeast Los Angeles communities, the Southeast Los Angeles Alcohol and Other Drugs Taskforce was formed to create a greater awareness and bring much needed resources to the community.
The Wall-Las Memorias Project in collaboration with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH)-Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC) are working together to reduce underage drinking and marijuana use/misuse among youth and young adults residing in Southeast Los Angeles. The focus is on three major cities: South Gate, Huntington Park and Bell Gardens.
We seek to change the local conditions that facilitate alcohol and drug use; identify individuals who could benefit from prevention services or contribute to prevention efforts; and change the knowledge and behaviors of youth and adults that contribute to community norms about alcohol and drug use.
As part of our grassroots community program, we formed the Southeast Los Angeles Alcohol and Other Drug Task Force (SELA) to help support our educational efforts in the community and to engage parents in creating a great dialogue about alcohol and marijuana. SELA is comprised of a broad cross-section of the community including businesses, community members, public and private service organizations, drug treatment and community service organizations, government and law enforcement officials, educators, parents and other existing community coalitions.
We work with youth (12-17) to provide alternatives to suspension, expulsion and other “zero-tolerance” policies in school districts to address the prevalence of underage drinking, binge drinking and other drug usage. TWLMP aims to change these issues with an innovative project using evidence-based practices, and works to increase the protective factors, resiliency and life skills that research indicates is paramount in helping students to make healthy decisions and promotes a healthy lifestyle. The project engages youth with a variety of FREE lessons including a 12 lesson course among youth using “Botvin’s Life Skills,” evidence-based curriculum.
We advocate for local, state policies that prevent underage drinking. Create resources that preventing underage alcohol and other drugs used by youth—providing training to youth who are involved with local groups and support their skill development, critical awareness and access to opportunities to be effective advocates.
TWLMP alcohol and substance abuse prevention program, the Southeast Los Angeles Alcohol and Other Drugs Taskforce, cultivates successful adult-youth partnerships that can effectively advocate for community changes that prevent underage drinking and substance use.