Organizations around the world work in some of the most dynamic and inspiring ways to help people reach for healthy, drug-free living. Here are 11 organizations that answer questions, provide information, connect people with support and produce inspiring media that show the world why drug-free is a great way to be.
National Institute on Drug Abuse: Commonly called, NIDA, the federal agency recently revamped two of its educational websites to make them more mobile-friendly. The Easy to Read website “provides plain language information on neuroscience, drug abuse prevention and treatment and is also a resource for adult literacy educators. It has a simple design with a large default text size, motion graphic videos and other features that make it easy to read and use. The site also has a text-to-speech tool which reads the page to the user, if preferred.” There’s also the Learn the Link site, “which uses TV, print and Web public service announcements (PSAs) to deliver the message to America’s youth that using drugs and alcohol even once can lead to risky behaviors and serious health consequences, including the spread of HIV.” The site aims to help visitors understand how drug use can lead to the spread of disease.
LearnAboutSAM.org: This volunteer-driven organization advocates for public policies regarding marijuana that are firmly rooted in evidence-based science. Its advisors include several of the world’s most respected medical experts on the subject. See www.learnaboutsam.org.
The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence: For an array of great resources about drugs and alcohol, visit http://ncadd.org. For example, do you know seven chief signs or symptoms of alcoholism? Here’s where to head on the NCADD site to find out.
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America: The country’s largest umbrella organization informing and organizing smaller drug-prevention groups and public agencies nationwide provides regular updates about public drug policy. Stay informed by following the blog or by finding a training opportunity near you.
Natural High: This dynamic nonprofit organization based in California has a bold and clear mission: “We exist to inspire youth to discover, amplify and pursue what they love to do so they have a reason to say no to an artificial high.” It also provides a rich archive of drug-prevention resources for educators and a series of compelling videos about prominent athletes, artists and thinkers who have soared to great heights by finding their natural high. For more, see naturalhigh.org.
Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy: “The mission of ODCP is to serve as a leader and a catalyst for improving the health and safety of all Iowans by promoting strategic approaches and collaboration to reduce drug use and related crime.” For the agency’s latest news and information, visit http://www.iowa.gov/odcp
Partnership for a Drug Free Iowa: The Partnership (PDFI) is a nonprofit coalition dedicated to promoting healthy families and safe communities by preventing substance abuse in Iowa. One of the core elements of the group’s mission is: “Connecting young Iowans with the resources they need to be drug and alcohol free.” Visit http://www.pdfi.info.
Iowa Public Health Association: Since 1925, IPHA has improved the health of Iowa’s people and communities by: supporting public health professionals in ways that help them do their jobs better; fostering understanding, engagement and support for key public health issues; and influencing public policy to improve health. More than just a professional association, IPHA is a community of public health professionals and the collective voice for the health of Iowans. Visit http://www.iowapha.org
The Alliance of Coalitions For Change: This statewide network seeks to increase the synergy and coordination of substance-abusue-prevention efforts in Iowa. If you’re part of a coalition or are wondering how to help build communication among the state’s various drug-prevention coalitions and initiatives, please visit www.ac4c.org.
IOGT: The Temperance Movement is alive and well around the world through members of IOGT, who champion drug and alcohol policies with a thoughtful eye on how they intersect with important social issues, such as gender and economic equality and education attainment. The organization, headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, is also a strong voice within the United Nations. For an invigorating and inspiring look at how people worldwide — especially young people — are promoting the joys of sober living, see iogt.org. The organization launched a revamped website recently:
World Federation Against Drugs: Another important, large and active global voice in drug prevention is also headquartered in Stockholm. The federation has a blog that tracks a wide array of drug-prevention efforts worldwide and reports on drug policy debates at the United Nations and among its member organizations.