PreventEd recognizes that the most effective way to address substance use disorder is to prevent it in the first place. Dedicated funding to school and community based prevention is the most efficient means to stemming the growing tide of substance use.
PreventEd will continue to promote policies designed to ensure Missouri’s medical cannabis program is implemented in a way that promotes transparency, legitimacy, and public health. PreventEd will also continue to monitor recreational cannabis proposals in Missouri to ensure that young people are protected from the risks of cannabis use.
PreventEd supports legislation designed to reduce the initiation of opioid misuse by building community and individual resiliency skills and addressing risk factors. As the opioid crisis continues to evolve with increasing presence of fentanyl, PreventEd will monitor data to support policies that reduce discriminatory practices, expand treatment, or reduce harm to those with substance use disorders. PreventEd will continue to advocate for inclusive prevention, treatment and recovery strategies with additional funding awarded to Missouri through the Opioid Settlement Agreement.
PreventEd supports legislation that decreases a minor’s exposure to cigarette, cigar, and hookah smoke, as well as vapor from e-cigarettes and vaporizers and provide clarity for vendors. While the federal government has implemented a nationwide Tobacco 21 policy, Missouri law currently reflects the ability to purchase at 18, including mandatory language on signage at retailers, causing confusion for many.
PreventEd supports policies that reduce youth access to alcohol. This includes tougher penalties for sales and serving to minors, deterring caregivers from supplying alcohol, ensuring minors don’t have access to easily concealable, easily misused products like powdered alcohol, and raising alcohol excise taxes.
Addressing Substance Use Disorder (SUD) as a Public Health Issue
PreventEd supports policies and practices that prioritize applying a public health lens to the prevention, early intervention and treatment of substance use. This includes models such as court diversion programs, behavioral health care centers and broad utilization of community health workers.
In August 2o20, Missourians voted to expand Medicaid coverage. PreventEd encourages comprehensive implementation of this expansion throughout Missouri to include increased behavioral health services.