January 23rd was ACT Missouri and the MO Substance Use Prevention Network’s annual Advocacy Day. The day is one of Missouri’s observances of NIDA’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. Around 60 Prevention Specialists, coalition members, and students convened at the Capitol to educate new and returning legislators on the importance of prevention and behavioral health policies.
Representative Holly Rehder, named our Prevention Legislative Champion in 2014, provided the opening remarks on the importance of sharing your story and this year’s attempt to pass a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. She discussed its necessity to the overall health of Missourians, its possible objections, and her plans to work with Senator Luetkemeyer to pass legislation through both chambers.
ACT Missouri’s Youth Ambassadors were available to answer questions, exhibit materials, and distribute informational packets to the legislators that had no constituents attend the rally. The packets contained the highlights and accomplishments that each Prevention Resource Center had last year. ACT Missouri provided legislative talking points that focused on MO specific teen usage rates of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and prescription drugs; as well as mental health indicators like bullying and suicide. Prevention solutions for each of these were also provided and distributed to each Representative and Senator.
Those that were new to advocacy completed the At Home in the Dome training to familiarize themselves with the Capitol complex, the hearing process, tips for testifying, and distinguishing between advocacy and lobbying.
ACT Missouri would like to extend our gratitude to the Prevention Network and students that attended and are taking ACTion to build a healthy Missouri!