Celebrating 30 Years of Substance Misuse Prevention
30 years ago, a group of parents met to create the Ohio Association of Parents for Drug Free Youth and worked to raise awareness about the dangers of drug and alcohol misuse. Now, that organization has grown into a prominent nonprofit dedicated to preventing substance misuse and promoting mental wellness.
We started out selecting schools for national drug-free recognition programs before taking a leadership role in the formation of Ohio Alcohol and Drug Policy Alliance and forming the Statewide Prevention Coalition Association. We received national awards from the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services for our efforts to educate parents. We were also selected by Georgetown University to be Ohio’s lead agency for the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth.
We began managing more statewide programs and initiatives, including Parents Who Host Lose the Most, Know! and the Ohio College Initiative and changed our name in 2005 to Drug Free Action Alliance. We awarded mini-grants to Ohio communities to expand local efforts and launched a program to honor prominent leaders in prevention advocacy. We also created the Ohio Center for Coalition Excellence to expand education and training to communities across the state. We spoke at conferences, policy summits, and the United Nations, and we coordinated youth rallies, wrote position papers, and successfully advocated for healthy state policies. In 2017, we changed our name to Prevention Action Alliance.
Recently, we’ve expanded our efforts to include conferences, policy summits, and youth rallies, plus research, writing, network development, product marketing, and new media – all with the goal we’ve had since the beginning: to build healthier communities.