The site for substance abuse prevention and mental health promotion professionals and volunteers.

Home » Announcements


Watch this page for announcements from other Athena Forum users. Select Send me Announcements in the account settings menu to get notified when there are new postings to this page.

October 10, 2019

At the October 9, 2019 Washington State Board of Health [SBOH] meeting, an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vapor products in the state was adopted.  It is anticipated to take effect October 10, 2019.

The emergency rule:

1) Imposes a ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, including flavored THC vapor products, in Washington.

  • The rule will become effective immediately upon filing with the code reviser’s office.  (Anticipated to happen today, Oct 10.)
  • The rule is effective for 120 days.
  • The duration of the emergency rule leads up to the legislative session, allowing state legislators to take up the issue in in 2020.

2) Requires vapor retailers to display a warning sign – warning the risk of lung disease associated with the use of vapor products.

3) Requires health care providers and facilitates to report cases of lung injury associated with vape use to their local health jurisdiction within three days.


Here is the full language of the adopted emergency rule:

The rule will become Chapter 80 in Title 246 WAC.  Once posted online, you will find it on the page for Title 246 WAC:

The SBOH acted in response to the Govenor’s Executive Order 19-03.

October 10, 2019

We R Native is recruiting 1,500 AI/AN teens and young adults (15-24 years old) nationwide to participate in a study.

Our goal is to evaluate the impact of our text messaging service for Native teens and young adults. Youth who enroll will be randomized to receive either:

  • 8 weeks of BRAVE messages, designed to improve mental health, help-seeking skills, and promote cultural pride and resilience, or
  • 8 weeks of STEM messages, designed to elevate and re-affirm Native voices in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Afterwards, the two groups will switch and participants will receive the other set of messages.

Please encourage students in your community to join the study in September or October, by texting BRAVE to 97779. You can also share our recruitment ads on social media, or post this recruitment flier in your community.

October 8, 2019

Webinar Objectives:

  1. Identify models of brief intervention for preventing substance use among youth
  2. List evidence-based brief interventions for preventing youth and young adult substance use
  3. Explore evidence and resources supporting the use of Screening and Brief Interventions (SBI) for preventing youth substance use
  4. Compare screening and brief interventions that integrate the prevention of youth alcohol, marijuana and e-cigarette use with promoting protective wellness behaviors


Length: Approximately 1 hour 

Date: Friday October 18th    

Time: 11:30am ET/8:30am PT 

CEU Certificate: 1-hour CEU certificate available upon completing webinar and requesting certificate 

October 3, 2019

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force seeks comments on a draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review on primary care–based interventions to prevent illicit drug use in children, adolescents, and young adults. The Task Force found that more research is needed on how clinicians can help keep young people from starting to use drugs. The draft recommendation statement and draft evidence review are available for review and public comment from October 1, 2019 through October 28, 2019 here.

September 29, 2019

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB) is hosting a day-long Listen and Learn forum concerning draft conceptual marijuana packaging and labeling rules
(red-line versionnon-red-line version). An agenda is attached to help you prepare.

Please join us on Friday, October 11, 2019, from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at our Headquarters Boardroom, located at 1025 Union Avenue SE, in downtown Olympia. You may also attend via webinar. Please contact Sara Cooley Broschart if you plan to participate at or 360.522.0421.

Revisions of the draft conceptual marijuana packaging and labeling rules include:

  • Packaging thickness of 2 mil. or greater (formerly 4 mil.);
  • Provision that marijuana infused edibles in liquid form may include a measuring device such as a measuring cup or dropper; hash marks on the bottle or container qualify as a measuring device;
  • Inclusion of framework for therapeutic claims, including definition of “structure and function” consistent with the requirements of ESHB 5298;
  • Strengthened existing language regarding listing compounds and other substances added to marijuana concentrates;
  • Alignment of references to child, youth, or minor to “persons under the age of twenty-one” to assure consistency; and
  • Complete redesign of WAC 314-55-105. The rule section begins with definitions. Then, each subsection addresses a specific type of product, and the specific packaging and labeling requirements for that product. This creates a framework for checklists being developed by LCB staff that will align with rule, and are anticipated to increase compliance success.

Additionally, this draft conceptual rule set contemplates withdrawal of BIPs 05-2018, 07-2018, 09-2018, 10-2018, and 14-2019.

We invite you to come prepared to offer feedback and suggestions regarding the draft conceptual revision to WAC 314-55-077(9) and all of the draft conceptual revisions of WAC 314-55-105. For your consideration, we’ve included lists of comments received from stakeholders during the development of this rule draft (comment document 1; and comment document 2).

Please remember that we are still in the developmental phase of rulemaking, and these are not proposed or final rules. To help you get ready for this listen/learn/contribute forum, please review the guidance document prepared for this and future forums.

Questions? Contact Sara Cooley Broschart at or 360.522.0421.

September 29, 2019

Governor Inslee issued Executive Order 19-03: Addressing the Vaping Use Public Health Crisis. This order directs the Liquor and Cannabis (LCB) and the Department of Health (Health) to take certain actions immediately to protect public health. 

The announcement comes after medical professionals reported seven cases of severe lung illness in Washington from vaping devices or e-cigarette products. The Center for Disease Control has reported at least 12 deaths nationwide, as well as more than 800 cases of lung injury possibly related to these products.

As summarized in an online article written by the governor's office, the governor’s executive order directs the Washington State Department of Health to:

  • Ask the state Board of Health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products.

The order also directs DOH and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to:

  • Immediately ban any ingredients or sources that are found to be a cause of this acute lung illness; and
  • Work together to draft Governor-request legislation for 2020 that will ban all flavored vapor products; require disclosure of ingredients in vapor products; increase regulatory oversight; limit bulk sales; expand the educational campaign; and clarify the Department of Health’s authority in situations like this where there is a harm or risk to the public but the specific cause of that harm is unknown.
  • Immediately take whatever steps they can to warn consumers of the risks, encourage health care providers to report all suspected cases, and expand their educational campaign to increase awareness around the dangers of vaping.

A warning sign for retail locations has been designed and is co-branded with the Washington State Department of Health. A Spanish version will soon be available that may be posted as an additional sign.

September 27, 2019

Applications are due by October 17th at 5pm via the Google form available here:

For more information about the Fellowship, please visit:

September 23, 2019

How can you get involved? Participate in a local event. Find a take back location near you at Download, customize, and share the Starts with One Opioid Take Back Campaign materials at

The Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will be Saturday, October 26, 2019 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. National Take-Back Day is a safe, convenient, and responsible way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs. Over 937,000 pounds of prescription medication were collected nationwide at the last Take-Back Day in April 2019! This brings the national total amount of prescription drugs collected by DEA to almost 12 million pounds since the start of these events!

Washington State will again join the DEA efforts in promoting safe disposal by participating in Drug Take-Back Day.  Communities across the state are hosting awareness events and prescription drop sites across the state. During the April 27, 2019 Take-Back event, Washington collected 16,757 pounds of prescription medication. Since 2010, Washington has collected, and safely disposed of 240,794 pounds of medications.


September 23, 2019

Tribal nations and individual tribal members work hard to protect and promote the health of their communities, and have developed significant public health expertise. The University of Washington's Northwest Center for Public Health Practice's (NWCPHP) new resource, Collaborate with Tribes: A Public Health Toolkit, provides non-tribal public health professionals with an introduction to this expertise, and offers resources to partner with tribes and tribal members.

Toolkit highlights include an example of a successful collaboration between tribes, state, and local jurisdictions in Washington State for emergency preparedness and an introduction to data issues prioritized by tribes and tribal members. As non-tribal public health leaders look for new and sustainable ways to address complex health issues, meaningfully and consistently collaborating with tribal nations is a crucial component of those efforts.

Explore the new Collaborate with Tribes: A Public Health Toolkit and learn more about how to strengthen this work.

September 16, 2019

The University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital will implement a two-year pilot of school staff mental health education, and telephone and televideo psychiatric consultations for students at middle, junior and high schools in in two Washington school districts. Pilot duration will be during the 2019-20 and 2020-21 school years.

Purpose: To provide (1) professional learning opportunities for school staff and (2) telehealth consultations that serve as one strategy among the school’s multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS)
for behavioral and mental health.

Eligibility: School Districts of 2,000 – 20,000 students that can demonstrate readiness of middle and high schools to:

  1. Identify a lead contact for coordinating services;
  2. Co-develop a professional learning plan with project staff on school mental health using tele-consultation;
  3. Host telemedicine appointments during the school day.

Number of districts to be chosen: 2 - one district east and one west of the Cascades.

See attached letter for more information.