Preventing Youth Substance Use Disorders Coalition
We all want young people to be healthy and have a bright future, but drug and alcohol misuse can jeopardize that bright future. Rather than treated like the health issue that it is, however, drug and alcohol use is often overlooked or ignored. Misuse of and addiction to alcohol and drugs blunt the potential of too many young people, with prevalence rates for substance use comparatively higher among youth than other public health conditions such as obesity, depression, and bullying. Like these public health problems, however, youth substance use can be reduced and oftentimes prevented through a public health approach.
Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse have teamed up to advocate for expanded services to prevent addiction among Georgia's youth. We are working with a number of youth-focused and health-focused organizations and manage a coalition of groups that meets quarterly. If you or your organization would like to join this coalition, please contact Laura Colbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Georgians for a Healthy Future and the Georgia Council on Substance Abuse held a policy forum in October 2015 to discuss promising policy options for preventing youth substance use disorders, including Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT). Many of our coalition partners participated in the forum and signed onto a letter expressing support for turning on the Medicaid codes for SBIRT directed towards the Senate Study Committee on Preventing Youth Substance Use Disorders, which met during Fall 2015. The coalition is advocating for these codes to be activated in 2016. You can find resources below featuring policy recommendations and conversations with experts and young people in recovery.