What We Do:
With many voices coming together at our Community Coalition meetings, public events, local, state, and national policy maker visits, and think tanks, GSSAC advocacy efforts make a difference!
We have had some great successes for positive community norms changes including:
Educating and encouraging media, law enforcement, and our community at large to replace the words "crash," "collision," or "wreck" for "accident" when referring to an alcohol- or drug-impaired motor vehicle crash to help raise awareness that we can prevent these tragedies.
Providing information and support to local efforts such as the Alcohol Impact Area in downtown Spokane that is reducing public inebriation and increasing safety.
Working with our partners to implement smoke-free restaurants in Spokane County.
Being a part of a national movement to host a Town Hall to Reduce Underage Drinking to inform the community of the impact of youth use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and what can be done by every member of the community to help make positive change.
Educating our Spokane area legislators on prevention related issues being debated and the impacts of budget/program support for community efforts.
Helping to reduce the stigma of treatment and recovery from substance abuse.
There is much to be done:
As local, state, and national budgets shrink and resources for community programs/efforts dwindle, it is our responsibility as prevention advocates to speak up for prevention. We must speak up for those who do not have a voice: children, youth, those in treatment/recovery and those who love them, and other marginalized community members.
It is our duty to advocate:
From the Code of Ethical Conduct of Prevention Professionals:
Ethical Obligations to Community and Society
According to their consciences, prevention professionals should be proactive on public policy and legislative issues. The public welfare and the individual’s right to services and personal wellness should guide the efforts of prevention professionals who must adopt a personal and professional stance that promotes the well-being of all humankind.
The Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence (WASAVP), founded in 2000 with GSSAC as a founding convener, has been a cornerstone of the prevention advocacy movement in Washington State . With a dedicated volunteer Board of Directors, individual and organizational members from across the state, and an exemplary legislative liaison in Olympia, WASAVP is the voice for prevention of substance abuse, violence, behavior health, and the impact of related crime in our communities.
For an excerpt from "Policy Watch" that tells how to get information about legislators, bills, and issues as well as how to contact your legislators, click on the link below.