Advancing Healthy Communities

Advancing Healthy Communities

ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: KEEPING KIDS SAFE, CLEAN AND SOBER DURING THE HOLIDAYS

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photo:  Creative Commons

November 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- As we move into the holiday season and pandemic restrictions are loosening in the East County, in-person gatherings are going to become more common. For many, this will be the first time in a couple of years that families will all be able to gather and there may be increased temptation to party hard this year to make up for lost time. Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, New Year’s, Festivus and winter solstice are all opportunities to celebrate with alcoholic beverages. While traditions of celebrating the holidays with fancy cocktails, good food and reminiscing about past experiences can be done responsibly, the opportunities for increased access to alcohol by youth presents a challenge to those gathered. This is the season to become even more diligent about reducing kids’ access to alcohol.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DRUG TAKE BACK DAY ON OCT. 23 CAN PREVENT OVERDOSES, HOSPITALIZATIONS, AND DEATHS

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

October 3, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- When a Santee woman recently passed away while in home hospice care, her loved ones were left with a medicine chest filled with prescription drugs. The homecare professionals who had been attending their patient told the family that they could not legally remove the drugs from the home. It wasn’t until a registered nurse came by to check on the wellbeing of the woman’s husband, that the drugs were removed from the residence for proper disposal.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

September 1, 2021 (San Diego’s East County)  -- September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. It’s not easy to talk about suicide. It’s often considered a taboo subject and frequently ignored. But according to the latest statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, it is the second leading cause of death in the United States for those under 35 and in the top 10 causes of death for those over 35. Each of us can play a role in preventing deaths by suicide beyond simply raising awareness of the topic. One easy way is to complete an 8 hour course to become a Mental Health First Aid responder.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SPRING VALLEY COMMUNITY ALLIANCE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photo:  celebrating the first anniversary of of the Spring Valley Community Alliance are, L to R, SVCA President Braulio Sanabra, Regional Manager Charles Gailband of County Park and Rec., and SVCA Vice President Chris Pierce. Photo courtesy IPS.

August 5, 2021 (Spring Valley) - Braulio Sanabria felt uncomfortable with what was happening in and around Lamar County Park in Spring Valley. There were discarded mini alcohol bottles, drug paraphernalia, graffiti, drug sales and homeless encampments. So he decided to do something about it. What began as one man with a trash bag on a summer day in 2020 has evolved into the Spring Valley Community Alliance (SVCA). The effort grew organically as more and more neighbors began joining Sanabria on Sunday mornings to pick up trash, adopt a highway, report graffiti and take pride in the neighborhood. SVCA recently celebrated its first anniversary with a community cleanup, picnic and celebration at the park on Bancroft Drive.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: INTERNATIONAL ACADEMY ON THE SCIENCE AND IMPACT OF CANNABIS

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

July 7, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- A group of doctors from around the world recently formed a new and unique medical organization that aims to take the politics out of cannabis and focus solely on research regarding the short- and long-term effects of its use. The Marijuana Prevention Initiative (MPI) of San Diego County hosted a news conference in May to introduce the International Academy on the Science and Impact of Cannabis (IASIC). The non-partisan nonprofit is a medical organization of doctors who educate on cannabis based on the scientific and medical literature. The group was created to facilitate informed decisions when considering cannabis policy and law.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: BENZODIAZEPINES - THE NEW DRUG CRISIS?

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

June 13, 2021 (San Diego) -- I am pretty sure there is something that we East County residents all have in common since the onset of the pandemic -- stress and anxiety. In fact, an ongoing study by the National Center for Health Statistics in partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau shows that at least a quarter of all Americans were experiencing anxiety. In California, the statistic was almost one out of three. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL HEALTH DURING COVID

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

May 10, 2021 (San Diego) -- The past 13 months have been a rollercoaster of emotion, stress, and anxiety for many folks. As East County and the rest of the state finally move out of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, it’s important to remember that our mental and emotional health may need more time to adjust. The stay-at-home orders and pandemic lifestyle may have made some of us stronger and more resilient, but some may have become more vulnerable. These are important considerations, year-round and when we observe May is Mental Health Month.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: RESPONSIBLE BEVERAGE SERVICE DURING A PANDEMIC

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

April 14, 2021 (San Diego) - Now that San Diego County has entered the Orange Tier, East County bars are opening and restaurants are expanding their operations. While this gives the food and beverage industry an opportunity to bounce back from extended pandemic closures, we have to be vigilant about the overservice of alcoholic beverages. It may be tempting to encourage an extra drink sale here and there to recoup some of the lost business revenue, but continuing to pour for customers who are clearly intoxicated or selling to the under-21 crowd isn’t helpful to the customer or the business.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EQUITY, PUBLIC HEALTH AND SUBSTANCE USE DISORDERS

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

March 31, 2021 (San Diego) -- When it comes to adverse mental health conditions related to COVID-19, younger adults, racial and ethnic minorities, essential workers and unpaid adult caregivers report having more increased substance use and mental health issues than others who are not listed in those categories.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DRUG TAKE BACK DAY BECOMES YEAR ROUND

By David R. Shorey, East County Programs Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

David R. Shorey

February 16, 2021 (San Diego) -- San Diego Sheriff’s stations and headquarters have been available for more than a decade for disposal of unused prescription medication. There are 26 such drop-off locations throughout San Diego County and the program has collected over 100,000 pounds of prescriptions so far. For some, going to a law enforcement location to dispose of prescription drugs can be an uncomfortable experience. So the potential of medication being flushed down the drain or falling into the hands of those other than prescribed is heightened. This poses an environmental threat and a deadly threat, especially to youth.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: LEGALIZED MARIJUANA’S UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

January 27, 2021 (San Diego’s East County) -- In June of last year, Sheriff’s deputies raided six illegal cannabis dispensaries in Lakeside, unincorporated El Cajon, and parts of the City of San Diego seizing more than $221,000 in cash, six firearms and more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, marijuana edibles and concentrated cannabis. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: METH STRIKE FORCE REPORT CARD ASSIGNS FAILING GRADE

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies 

 

December 15, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- East County’s reputation is pretty solid when it comes to open space, small town living and friendly people. But when it comes to methamphetamine use, it’s a different story. San Diego County was identified as the “meth capital of the world” in the 1980s and 1990s in large part due to the proliferation of meth producing labs across the East County. Local elected officials and law enforcement struggled to keep up with the fallout. They established the Meth Strike Force in 1996 to address the problem. And while San Diego County is no longer the meth capital, the problem still persists in East County.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: RISE IN FENTANYL DEATHS BRINGS NEW FOCUS TO OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Deadly counterfeit pills mimic common prescription medications

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

November 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- It was his birthday and 22-year-old Vista resident Zach Budlong decided to meet up with some friends at a beach party to celebrate. Furloughed from his job because of COVID-19 and impacted by a reduction in unemployment benefits, Zach looked to the gathering as a way to celebrate and let off some steam. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EXPANDED DINING COULD LEAD TO EXPANDED DRINKING

By David R. Shorey, East County Progam Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photos courtesy Creative Commons

October 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Drive down any busy street in an East County community and you’re bound to see people eating in a parking lot, on the sidewalk or even in the street. It’s a popular new thing we do to try to keep our favorite restaurants open during a pandemic. It also runs the risk of unintended consequences.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SEPTEMBER IS SUICIDE PREVENTION AWARENESS MONTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photos courtesy of the National Institute of Mental Health

 

September 12, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- When the San Diego County Suicide Prevention Council sent an invitation to its monthly meeting in August, it came with a request.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

August 31, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- One of the lessons the past six months have taught us is that stress, trauma, and the environment that we are in can have significant emotional, psychological and physical impacts on us. Adults will often talk about the resiliency of kids in dealing with stress and trauma, but the reality is that certain childhood experiences lay the foundation for a lifetime of struggles on a person. For our East County kids to grow up to be healthy adults with long life expectancy, the first thing we need to do is eliminate or at least minimize their adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC STRATEGIES STRIVES FOR EQUITY

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
Photo:  Approach to Community Transformation (ACT) Model, courtesy IPS
 
July 16, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- For almost 30 years, the Institute for Public Strategies (IPS) has been a partner with neighborhood and community groups focused on improving public health and safety. Our local, national and international efforts have resulted in meaningful changes in the systems that most directly affect people.

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: ABC, ALCOHOL AND PANDEMIC

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

June 11, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- When alcoholic beverage delivery and curbside pick-up became an option in the East County and the rest of California during the COVID-19 pandemic’s stay-at-home order, it provided licensed on alcohol businesses affected by the order an expanded source of revenue. But whatever benefits the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) relaxation of liquor laws had financially for business owners, it negatively impacted alcohol harm prevention efforts to keep alcohol out of the hands of minors and those prone to binge drinking.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: MAY IS MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS MONTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

May 7, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- We are all going through a lot. I can say that beyond just concern about the possibility of being infected with COVID-19, I worry about my friends and family. Add on the stress of financial issues, taking care of children or other family members, and just the general uncertainty of the future and I know that many are emotionally drained. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: U .S. CENSUS AND PUBLIC HEALTH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

April 6, 2020 (San Diego) -- The past few months, as countries around the world have undertaken unprecedented efforts to distribute resources in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in the United States, this was influenced by data collected from the U.S. Census. As we focus on the here and now, coincidentally, the time for conducting the 2020 U.S Census is upon us. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: OPIOID EPIDEMIC – LAKESIDE TOWN HALL MARCH 25

Update: This event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 emergency.  Watch for announcements of rescheduling after the state and county emergency orders banning large gatherings is listed.

 

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

March 9, 2020 (Lakeside) -- Dozens of law enforcement officers, agents and deputies fanned out across Lakeside and the East County in January in the culmination of a 10-month undercover operation aimed at curtailing drug activity in Lindo Lake County Park. More than 20 suspects were arrested during the sweep. Fentanyl was part of the haul.

About a week later in Casa de Oro, a man took what he thought was a regular dose of medication, but ended up becoming an opioid overdose. In the frantic period as the overdose consumed him, he stabbed his girlfriend several times before passing out in his apartment. She lived. He did not.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DRINKING ALCOHOL CAN INCREASE RISK OF CANCER

By David R. Shorey
East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
February 17, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- Let’s say you stop at a bar on the way home from work on Friday evening to take advantage of happy hour. You have a couple of beers or cocktails and that’s it. The next day you have a couple of glasses of wine with your Saturday night dinner and no more. Then during Sunday morning champagne brunch, you have a mimosa or two. Does that make you a problem drinker? Probably not.
 
But research shows that the more you drink, the more at risk you are of getting cancer. A direct link has been found between drinking alcohol and cancer risk, mostly cancer of the head and neck, the esophagus, and liver. Notably, breast cancer in men and women is also included.

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE (OUT OF) CONTROL

By David R. Shorey
East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
Photos: Creative Commons
 
January 9, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) -- If you are looking for an alcoholic drink in East County, you’re in luck. It doesn’t matter if it’s a local watering hole where you can belly up to a bar and wet your whistle, or a retailer, where you can grab a bottle and take it home. The East County has plenty of options.
 
Perhaps too many.

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: DECEMBER IS NATIONAL IMPAIRED DRIVING PREVENTION MONTH

By David R. Shorey

East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

December 5, 2019  (San Diego’s East County) -- Holiday time in the East County is marked with tree lightings, trips to the snowcapped peaks, and the sound of holiday music floating in the air. It is also the most popular time of year for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), this time of year has the highest rate of driving under the influence incidents, injuries and deaths. In fact, preventable alcohol-related deaths account for almost one-third of all traffic fatalities, according to NHTSA.

That’s why each year, December is declared National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. Law enforcement officials in the East County participate by annually increasing patrols and DUI checkpoints in the region. We observe Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight steps we can take to improve safety on our streets and raise awareness of these preventable dangers.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EAST COUNTY YOUTH COALITION IS THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo:  East County Youth Coalition members hold up the blankets they are making to help families in need who have been affected by domestic violence, substance abuse in the home, and children in foster care. The blankets will be completed in time for the holidays. Photo courtesy IPS

 

November 13, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Youth in East County are making an important positive impact on health and safety in their communities and are acquiring leadership skills in the process. Through the East County Youth Coalition, high school students advocate against underage alcohol and drug use and focus on activities that promote healthy schools, neighborhoods, and families. Coalition members are especially concerned about adults who make it easy to obtain alcohol and marijuana, both in the home and through retail stores. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CASA DE ORO DISPLAYS ITS GOLDEN BOUNTY

 

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photo, left: Casa de Oro Fall Festival 2018, courtesy IPS

 

October 10, 2019 (Spring Valley) - There is no better way to celebrate autumn than Casa de Oro Alliance’s Fourth Annual Fall Festival Nov. 9 at the Spring Valley Academy. The festival is a signature event for the community and highlights a neighborhood alliance that has been successful in tackling alcohol, drug, crime and neighborhood blight issues.

The free family event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will feature shopping, vendors, games, prizes, entertainment and food trucks. The campus is located at 3900 Conrad Dr., just up the hill from the Campo Road business corridor. More information about the Fall Festival can be found at www.casadeoroalliance.org

The annual Fall Festival is part of a bigger plan by the Alliance to create a historically rich, culturally diverse and thriving community that is attractive, safe, pedestrian friendly and a popular destination for dining, entertainment and shopping.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: EL CAJON ENSURES A GOOD NIGHT SLEEP

By David R. ShoreyEast County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

Photos via Creative Commons

September 3, 2019 (El Cajon) -- When you arrive at your home-away-from-home lodging for a business trip or a family vacation, the last thing you want to worry about is drunken brawls, prostitution, drug activity, bed bugs, and dirty room conditions affecting your stay. You have a certain expectation that the property’s owners and managers are abiding by a certain set of standards. 


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: SAN DIEGO DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies
 
Photo:  San Diego County Deputy DA Monique Myers speaks at the Lakeside Life town hall in May 2019 – Photo courtesy IPS.
 
August 19, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Efforts by the Institute for Public Strategies to reduce the negative impact of drugs and alcohol on communities in East County provides us the opportunity to work with many great change makers. This includes residents, elected officials, and law enforcement. The San Diego County District Attorney’s office is part of that last category, and some view it as the last stop in the criminal justice process. 

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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: CRIME FREE MULTIHOUSING

By David R. Shorey, East County Program Manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo courtesy San Diego County Sheriff’s Department website, other photos via Creative Commons

 

July 10, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) -- Imagine you lived in an apartment complex so riddled with crime and danger, that law enforcement officers would not enter the property until backup arrived. A place where firefighters would not respond to a fire unless they were accompanied by sheriff’s deputies for protection. Where helicopters frequently flew overhead in search of a suspect, or attempting to restore peace. Where drive-by shootings, vandalism, prostitution, thefts, drug dealing, gangs and violence ruled the day.


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ADVANCING HEALTHY COMMUNITIES: LAKESIDE LIFE, A TOWN HALL CONVERSATION

By David R. Shorey

 

East County program manager, Institute for Public Strategies

 

Photo: Lakeside Life Town Hall was held May 29, 2019 at the Lakeside Community Center. Photo courtesy IPS

 

June 19, 2019 (Lakeside) -- Resident involvement is strong in Lakeside. This was very evident recently when more than 40 people came together at Lakeside Life: A Town Hall Conversation at the community center on the shore of Lindo Lake.


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