Coalition building is a smart strategy that promotes coordination and collaboration and makes efficient use of community resources.

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What is a community coalition?

Often, community problems or issues are too large and complex for any one agency or organization.

Communities tend to look to schools to educate young people about substance use, but it is neither realistic nor fair to expect schools to prevent drug use all by themselves. 

Experts in prevention agree that prevention strategies should be comprehensive and affect all of the settings in which young people spend their time – including family, community and media interventions.

A coalition is a group of individuals and/or organizations with a common interest who agree to work together toward a common goal. That goal could be as narrow as obtaining funding for a specific intervention, or as broad as trying to improve permanently the overall quality of life for most people in the community.

More than 20 Vermont communities have a prevention coalition that works to:

  • Build relationships;
  • Increase opportunities for community involvement;
  • Enhance  understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other drug issues; and
  • Coordinate comprehensive solutions throughout the community to address substance use issues.


Community coalitions strive to change community norms and standards of conduct related to substance abuse within the community. 

JOIN  one of Vermont’s  local substance abuse prevention coalitions  or start one. Community coalitions are comprised of parents, teachers, law enforcement, businesses, religious leaders, health providers and other community activists who promote community wellbeing and prevent substance abuse using evidence-based strategies.