West Linn Community Task Force

“Addiction is an insidious, ‘hidden’ public health crisis, directly impacting over 45 million Americans. In truth, everyone knows someone who is or was afflicted by addiction.  Something must be done…now. Addiction is the fourth most prevalent health problem in the United States, and is the third leading cause of death. Sadly, it has recently become the leading cause of preventable death – more than car accidents and homicides. Our youth are becoming involved with alcohol and other drugs at ever-younger ages, and the drugs they are using are more potent than ever.  Addiction to alcohol and other drugs is stealing America’s youth and is our country’s #1 social and health issue. Something must be done…now.”  Facing Addiction

Our community is no different than any other community in America when it comes to drug/alcohol and bullying issues and concerns. We have youth and young adults who use/abuse drugs and alcohol and many are predisposed to substance abuse disorder. We have serious concerns with youth who bully others or are bullied. Our community has a committed group of parents, educators, community leaders, youth and young adults that are facing the problem head on and are doing something about it.

Our Community Task Force’s goal is straightforward – we are collaborators who work to support youth on the prevention, education, and influences of substance abuse and bullying.  We look at ourselves as partners with Living Above the Influence.  We hope this web site serves as a resource for finding the tools that meet your needs and your circumstances.  We hope you will help and support us in this very important mission – for our children, for our families, and for our community.


A Helpful Guide for Parents and Teens

Good Choices – If it’s Predictable it’s Preventable

Topics: Health and Wellness, Substance Abuse, Personal Safety, Teen Driving, and more… Read more

Download a general information flier about the WL Community Task Force as a PDF.



Events – 2016/2017

Adults Only – October 20, 2016 and Students Only – October 27, 2016

Professionals in the Law Enforcement, Juvenile Justice System, Mental Health/Counselors, Testimonies, Diversion Programs, Bullying facts/info, and resources will be some of the professionals on hand to educate, answer questions and support our community.

April of each year we will host  Spring Mentor Days for 8th graders at Athey Creek and Rosemont Ridge Middle Schools.



A Conversation with Addiction
Expert Dr. Andy Mendenhall

Why are you and your practice involved with the West Linn Community Task Force?

I am passionate about teaching. More importantly, I see addiction and chemical dependency which affect 9.4 percent of our population as a poorly understood disease that affects nearly every family in this country.

Can a group such as the West Linn Community Task Force make a difference?

Yes. Awareness and education are critical factors in reducing and preventing drug and alcohol addiction. Our society has done a poor job of effectively educating our population about the disease of addiction. This disease is shrouded with mystery, denial and shame. We must remember that we are a species that is biologically programmed to seek out pleasure. Our society needs to openly talk about these issues and hopefully each person will be better educated about risk taking, and more informed regarding their own mission of “brain ownership.”

A Conversation with Substance Abuse Counselor
Donny Wright

How do you know if you suffer from Substance Abuse Disorder (addiction)? Or could it just be “experimenting?”

If you use a substance long enough and consistently enough I believe it would be hard to argue that it is not possible to develop a problematic relationship with that substance…

In the News

What’s Legal Oregon?  Read more

Rehabbing Our Ideas About Addiction – WSJ.  The focus on prevention is immensely important. We all know that prevention is more efficient than treatment, and without it, we would soon have more patients suffering from substance use than we could afford to treat.  click to read

Brain Lecture Events, 2016— The OHSU Brain Institute’s 2016 Brain Awareness Season will delve into the brain science behind three very popular pastimes: alcohol, gaming, and marijuana.  Click to read

November 5, 2015.  Bringing Addiction to the Forefront.  Click to read

December 2015. The War on Drugs isn’t Working:  Michael Botticelli’s New Vision.  He serves as the director of the Office of National Drug Control ONDCP   Click to read

Why We Ignore the Obvious:  The Psychology of Willful Blindness.  “We could know, and should know, but don’t know because it makes us feel better not to know.”   Click to read

How to Talk to a Child About a Parent’s Addiction.  More than 28 million Americans are children of alcoholics, yet addiction isn’t being talked about in most homes. Instead, children grow up facing a lifetime of issues other kids don’t have to manage. They tend to have more emotional, behavioral and academic problems than other kids, and are four times more likely to become addicts themselves.   Click to read

Addiction now Defined as Chronic Brian Disorder, Not Behavior Issue.  Addiction is a chronic brain disorder and not simply a behavior problem involving alcohol, drugs, gambling or sex, experts contend in a new definition of addiction, one that is not solely related to problematic substance abuse.  Click to read

Understanding Addiction.  Many people do not understand why individuals become addicted to drugs or how drugs change the brain to foster compulsive drug abuse. They mistakenly view drug abuse and addiction as strict- ly a social problem and may character- ize those who take drugs as morally weak.  Click to read

Research & Statistics

Most drugs of abuse can alter a person’s thinking and judgment, leading to health risks, including addiction, drugged driving and infectious disease.


Trends in substance abuse

Clackamas County data

Family Disease

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