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Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council's (GSSAC) Prevention Center supports a strong collaborative coalition with broad and diverse community representation that promotes primary community-wide substance abuse/violence prevention and reduction strategies.

Organized in the fall of 1982, GSSAC was established as a community effort by business leaders, policymakers and citizens to take a stand against the impact of drugs and violence on our community. The coalition coordinates collaborative efforts to reduce the impact of alcohol/drug misuse and violence in the Spokane region.

GSSAC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to supporting the mobilization and collaboration of our community to promote the health, safety, and well-being of our community with an emphasis on youth.

We educate and inform about substance misuse and violence issues affecting our community.

We help create safe and healthy environments for communities across our region.

We mobilize the community for positive social norms.

GSSAC is a founding member of the Washington Association for Substance Misuse & Violence Prevention (WASAVP) established in 2000.


Legalized Marijuana

What Can We Do to Help Our Children and Youth Make Positive Choices?

Recreational Marijuana is legal for adults 21 and over in Washington since the passage of Initiative 502.  Retail stores are open, media is a buzz, drug paraphernalia is readily available—often in sight of our children—and edibles are coming onto the market.  What now for our children and youth?

How do we protect them, guide them, and provide positive adult role modeling when it comes to marijuana?

Across the state and in our own county, our youth’s perception of harm regarding marijuana has been on a steady downturn over the past few years. In the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey one of the results was that our youth feel it is more dangerous to smoke a cigarette than marijuana. That is good news for tobacco prevention but we have a lot of work to do to educate our youth.


Here are some ways you can help:

  • Stay informed on marijuana, alcohol and other drugs so you can be confident in your knowledge and ability to discuss these issues.

  • Talk to your children early and often. It is never too early to start talking about healthy choices—the basis for a strong foundation for success in school.

  • Connect with others in the community so we can have a united effort to support our children in positive choices. Join with other parents, educators, civic organizations, local government and GSSAC’s Prevention Center to make this a community solution.

  • Be a good role model. If you use, keep your marijuana including edibles secure—away from your children. Don’t use in front of your children. Never give youth marijuana.

  • Set and share your expectations with your children. Be steadfast in your commitment to helping them make the choice to be drug free from marijuana, alcohol and other drugs. Young brains grow through age 25—give them their best chance to be awesome.


Call us here at GSSAC at 509-922-8383 to request free materials, information about treatment/help resources, or a presentation to your organization or business. The more we know, the more we can be a part of a safe, healthy community in support of children and youth.


Excellent sources of information:




Prevention Works!


200 N Mullan Rd #102, Spokane Valley, WA 99206, USA

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