NCADA works diligently to change laws, ordinances, and even perceptions and attitudes towards substance use disorders in an effort to raise awareness, fight prejudice and increase access to recovery options. Some of these priorities include:
Budgets are reflections of priorities. We know that every dollar invested in prevention education returns $18 in savings related to decreased healthcare and criminal costs and increased productivity. Few other investments yield such a return. We encourage public and private investment in prevention education as an evidence-based strategy to help communities thrive.
Narcotics Control Act
The Narcotics Control Act, a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), allows health service providers to ensure that individuals are not given duplicate prescriptions for controlled substances, which may be misused or sold to others. The Narcotics Control Act would also reduce the likelihood of medications negatively interacting with one another.
Many communities across the state have adopted this common sense policy to prevent misuse of and addiction to prescription medications in our communities. We encourage the Missouri General Assembly to take up and pass such legislation statewide.
911 Good Samaritan Law
A 911 Good Samaritan Law provides limited criminal immunity to those who call for help in the event of a drug related medical emergency. One should never have to choose between saving a life and being charged with possession of a controlled substance. Good Samaritan legislation would help to curb “dumping”, or abandonment of a person experiencing an overdose, and enable them to get the medical treatment they need.
People who inject drugs are at a dramatically higher risk of contracting blood borne diseases such as HIV, hepatitis C, and other infections. Needle exchanges decrease the prevalence of these infections with no increase in IV substance use. In fact, such programs have shown an increase in the drug user’s willingness to enter treatment. Allowing a needle exchange programs to exist in Missouri will help save lives and decrease healthcare costs in our communities.
Reducing Minor’s Access to Alcohol
NCADA supports policies that toughen penalties for sales and serving to minors, deterring parents from providing, and ensuring minors don’t have access to easily concealable, easily misused products like powdered alcohol. These steps are essential to fighting underage drinking. Earlier age of initial use is highly correlated to alcohol related problems later in life, and NCADA supports efforts to reduce underage alcohol consumption. 21 means 21.
Reducing Minor’s Access and Exposure to Nicotine
NCADA supports legislation that decreases a minor’s exposure to cigarette, cigar, and hookah smoke, as well as vapor from e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Additionally, legislation that toughens penalties for selling or providing nicotine products to minors is a proven strategy for delaying the age of first use and reducing rates of addiction.
NCADA supports policies which reduce the availability of marijuana to youth. Even while this drug remains illegal, we are seeing increasing use and addiction in adults and youth. Any policy that create a commercial, legal market, which makes marijuana easier for minors to access, is not the solution. While continued prohibition is not effective, the commercialization of a third legal, addictive substance is not a good public health alternative.
Contact Your Legislators and Local Officials
Join us and make sure that your voice is heard. You can make a difference. Legislators and policy makers look to you for input on these important issues. Just a few phone calls or letters from constituents can make all of the difference. Please take the time to call or write your city and county elected officials, and your representatives and senators. If you don’t know who your legislators are, click here.
Missouri Recovery Network
MRN is a statewide effort that invites people who are recovering from substance addiction, family members who are in recovery and other allies of those in recovery to tell the story of recovery in order to help others.
Faces and Voices of Recovery
Faces and Voices is a national organization with thousands of individuals and organizations uniting for more effective action across the country. No matter where you live, a dedicated group of recovery advocates are working to change perceptions, policies and laws to improve the lives of those in the recovery community.