Resources for Prevention Advocacy

At Prevention Action Alliance, we believe everyone has a role in prevention. To help you advocate for prevention, we’ve compiled resources and information to help you regardless of where your passion for prevention lies. You can use these resources as they are to build your case for prevention and educate lawmakers and regulators. When you advocate for prevention, you build a healthier and safer world for Ohio’s youth, families, and communities.

Contact Your Legislator

Ready to contact your legislator but not sure how to reach them? You can use the Ohio Legislature’s searchable database to find your representative or senator and their contact info as simply as typing in your address or ZIP code.

COVID-19 & Behavioral Health

  • Letter to the Editor: Keep Behavioral Healthcare from Getting Overwhelmed – This customizable letter to the editor emphasizes the need to keep our behavioral health systems from getting overwhelmed. As people stay at home to combat the spread of COVID-19, feelings of anxiety, isolation, and depression may set in and create or worsen mental health issues. We have to bolster our behavioral healthcare system to take care of Ohioans’ behavioral health needs.
  • Press Release: Protect Mental Health and Prevention Funding –  This press release echoes the same important fact in the above letter to the editor. It’s fully customizable, and it focuses on advocating for maintaining funding for prevention and mental health services.
  • Letter to Legislators – Intended for elected officials, this letter speaks directly to them about the importance of maintaining funding for mental and behavioral health services at a time when many government agencies are considering cutting these services. It uses the same talking points as the above letter and press release to present a consistent, impactful message.
  • Phone Script – Built on the letter to legislators, this script provides a quick and easy reference for leaving messages or leading conversations with aides, lawmakers, regulators, and others.

Fact Sheets and Infographics on Prevention

  • Fact Sheet: Prevention 101 – Prevention is the act of going “upstream” to learn why a problem is occurring in the first place. It addresses the root causes of an issue, providing systemic solutions to systemic problems. This fact sheet provides a basic overview of prevention for legislators and regulators.
  • Fact Sheet: What Is Addiction and How Can I Stop It? – Addiction is chronic, complex brain disease that impacts 21 million, or about 1 in 7, Americans. It changes how people think, overriding their other wants and needs. Share information about addiction and its symptoms with this fact sheet.
  • Fact Sheet: A Case for Prevention in Higher Education – College students face increasing emotional and mental health issues, and colleges and universities are being called upon to promote mental health wellness and prevent substance misuse more than ever.  Use this fact sheet to build your case for prevention in higher education settings.
  • Fact Sheet: Coalitions in Prevention – Coalitions raise awareness of an issue, bring people together around a common goal or project, create solutions that serve the entire community, and seek new partners to participate in that goal. Because of their structure, they’re uniquely suited to engage in prevention. Learn more and share this information by downloading this fact sheet.
  • Fact Sheet: Prevention Makes Cents – The misuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs costs the U.S. $740 billion annually due to crime, lost work productivity, and health care. If we invested in prevention, we could instead save $99.8 billion and have a healthier, more productive workforce as well as a more vibrant community with better health outcomes for all.
  • Infographic: 5 Ways Drug Use Impacts Health – Drug use impacts the brain and body in myriad ways. This infographic shows five of those ways, emphasizing harm done to our mental health, lungs, and heart, but also the increased risk of addiction and of contracting various infectious diseases.
  • Infographic: Prevention Works – Since 2006, the number of young people who drank alcohol has steadily declined from 31.0% to 19.9% in 2017, according to the Monitoring the Future survey. This infographic charts that progress as proof that prevention can, and does, work.

De-Stigmatizing Addiction

Stigma stops people from getting the help they need. Stigma is the biggest barrier to patients in need of treatment, and stigmatizing terms were championed during the war on drugs. Now, we know more about the science of addiction, and the language we use to describe addiction should now be changed to reflect our greater understanding of it.

The Language First Team, a group of recovery advocates and other professionals passionate about the issue of stigma, created a variety of resources dedicated to choosing our words more carefully when talking about addiction. By changing the language we use to describe addiction, we can de-stigmatize addiction. In turn, patients will regain self-esteem, lawmakers may appropriate more funding for prevention and treatment, doctors may treat patients without the disapproval of their peers, insurers will cover treatment, and people will come to understand addiction as the medical condition that it is.