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Community Prevention Partners (CPP) is a coalition of individuals and organizations who mobilize for policies and environmental changes to improve community health and safety in Santa Cruz County.  We focus on reducing substance use disorders and related consequences.  CPP works with school districts, parents, youth serving organizations, health care workers, law enforcement agencies, cannabis industry, alcohol merchants, and community members to reduce youth access and availability to alcohol, cannabis, and prescription drugs.  

Substance use disorder is a chronic, treatable, disease that should never be stigmatized.  Since 2010, CPP has been increasing prevention and early intervention measures as highly effective tools for community health and youth success.  

Community Prevention Partners is a proud Drug Free Communities Grant Coalition.  

MISSION: Santa Cruz Community Prevention Partners are dedicated to building a diverse community that promotes health and well being, and enhances youth and community safety through sustainable alcohol and drug prevention efforts. 


Community Prevention Partners:

  • Educates and raises community awareness about substance use trends.
  • Develops strengths and skills in youth, parents, educators, community partners and members to deal with these issues effectively, in a strength-based way. 
  • Supports youth, families and community members to engage in a drug-free lifestyle.
  • Advocates for long-term policy changes to address the root issues and local conditions of youth substance misuse.

To learn more about our evidence-based strategies, please check out: *CADCA’s 7 Strategies for Change

Community involvement is the cornerstone of the Community Prevention Partners (CPP).  We invite you to join us in taking action, by:

  • Interviewing and surveying youth and community members and looking at community data;
  • Raising awareness about our local challenges, public health best practices, and solutions;
  • Developing campaigns to address our specific local conditions;
  • Implementing sustainable evidenced based strategies that promote community safety;
  • Evaluating progress and monitoring change. 

The best way to get involved is by joining one of our initiatives focused on Alcohol Prevention, Cannabis Prevention, or Prescription Drugs and Stigma.  


Community Members like you, with support from staff from diverse organizations in Santa Cruz County, have joined us to develop action plans for reducing and preventing underage drinking, youth cannabis use, and prescription drug misuse and abuse



The Alcohol Initiative, formally, Project CURB (Communities United to Reduce Bingeing) focuses on limiting youth access to alcohol from homes and stores through strategies such as: 

  • Increasing storage and monitoring of alcohol in the home. 
  • Increasing merchant education about alcohol laws and youth prevention practicing.  
  • Decreasing saturation of alcohol outlets through city and county policy
  • Use of the Social Host Ordinance

Find Out More →



Limit youth access to cannabis, by: 

  • Limiting youth access to cannabis through smart policy development and regulation.  
  • Decreasing recreational use in public places and at schools
  • Enhancing community awareness about local laws and cannabis impact on health.  

Find Out More →



Address misuse and abuse due to ease of access. Medical professionals and community members will work together to create strategies to: 

  • Decrease access to prescription drugs through proper storage and disposal
  • Promote convenient disposal locations
  • Increase medical professionals use of statewide prescription tracking system
  • Encourage patients to talk to their doctors 
  • Address substance use disorder stigma and increase access to treatment through the "Talk About It" Campaign www.talkaboutitscc.org

Find Out More →


Brenda Armstrong - County of Santa Cruz, SUDS Prevention Associate Human Services Analyst
Christina Borbely  - RET Partners, Lead Partner
Jorge Bru – UCSC SHOP, Alcohol and Other Drug Educator
Erica Padilla Chavez – PVPSA, Executive Director
Gina Cole- Pajaro Valley Prevention and Students Services
Shelly Barker- Health Improvement Partnership
Deb Elston – SC Neighbors, Inc., Founder
Sarah Emmert-United Way of Santa Cruz County, Director of Community Organizing
Les Forster- Santa Cruz County Office of Education


Shebreh Kalantari Johnson - Community Member, Parent
Dena Loijos -  Public Health Consultant
Mary Mason- County of Santa Cruz, SUDS Prevention Program Coordinator
Maggie McGonigle- County of Santa Cruz, SUDs-Friday Night Live
Jen O’Brien Rojo - California Institute for Invincible Youth (Chair)
Gail Pellerin – Community Member, Parent
Jenna Shankman- United Way of Santa Cruz County 
Valerie Thompson- Probation
Martine Watkins- County Office of Education