Who we are

Bristol Eliminating Substance Use Together (B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol) is a Drug-Free Community Coalition that began in the early 1990s as the Bristol Youth Prevention Council. In the twenty-five years since, the Coalition’s name may have changed, but its focus on reducing youth substance abuse has remained constant.

Our Mission is to work toward unifying the community to promote wellness in our culture through increasing education, implementing strategies and enforcing policy to prevent substance abuse by youth and those who impact their development.

Our Vision is to develop a culture of awareness and sustained action that will promote positive youth development and a healthier community.

Every Day 4,000 12-17 year olds use drugs for the first time.
The prevelance of youth substance use increases as their perception of harm decreases.

What we do

As a Drug-Free Coalition, B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol’s primary purpose is two-fold: To engage and collaborate with the community and to prevent as many Bristol youth as possible from turning to drugs and alcohol.

How we do it?

B.E.S.T.-4-Bristol plans to use a comprehensive approach to achieve its goals. In order to make an impactful and lasting difference, the entire community-parents, teachers, youth, police, health care providers, faith communities, business and civic leaders and others, have to be involved and working together. Once this is accomplished, specific prevention initiatives and programs can then be planned.

If you would like a more detailed look into the types of strategies that coalitions like B.E.S.T-4-Bristol use to promote drug-free communities, check out these links….

CADCA’s 7 Community Strategies: These prevention strategies have been proven to reduce substance use among young people all over the country.

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF): The SPF is the model through which CADCA’s 7 Community Strategies are delivered into the community.

Click here to learn more about the CADCA’s 7 Community Strategies
Click here to learn more about the SPF process

Our People
Staff and Community Sector Leaders

Coalition’s 12 Sector Leaders

Business Sector Representative

Cindy Bombard, President & CEO of the Central CT Chambers of Commerce


Government Sector Representative:

Marco Palmeri, M.P.H., R.S., Director of Health Bristol-Burlington Health District & designee Catherine Plourde, BSN, RN


Youth Sector Representative

Juan Calderon, Bristol High School Student

School Sector Representative

Dr. Catherine Carbone, Assistant Superintendent of Bristol Schools & designee Chris Cassin, Supervisor of Athletics Physical Education & Health of Bristol Schools


Religious Sector Representative

Pastor Todd Williams, Bridge Community Church


Civic/Volunteer Organization Sector Representative

Dave McAllister, President of Rotary Club of Bristol


Healthcare Professional Sector Representative

Susan Walkama, LCSW, President and CEO of Wheeler Clinic and designee TBA of Wheeler Clinic


Parent Sector Representative

Laura Lewis, Bristol Parent and Resident

Youth Serving Organization Sector Representative

Michael Suchopar, President and CEO of BBGC and designee D'Andre Esposito, West Street Unit Director at BBCG


Other Organization Involved with reducing Substance Abuse Sector Representative

Samantha Rajotte, Scholarship & Program Officer, Main Street Community Foundation


Law Enforcement Sector Representative

Acting Chief Brian Gould or designee, Lt. Richard Guerrera, Bristol Police Department


Media Sector Representative

Community Health Worker