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. Missouri must continue to invest in and sustain funding for primary prevention efforts.
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. PreventEd advocates for continued growth of the Certified Peer Specialists workforce and job development.
PreventEd will continue to advocate for policies designed to ensure Missouri’s medical and adult use cannabis programs are implemented in a way that promotes transparency, legitimacy, and public health. PreventEd will also continue to monitor adult use cannabis regulations in Missouri to limit the risks and adverse impact of increased availability of cannabis on young people.
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 funding awarded to Missouri through the Opioid Settlement Agreements. The funding process should be transparent with funding resources allocated across the continuum for the most comprehensive approach.
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 increased 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.