Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council

The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council is a nonprofit organization based in Spokane, Washington that is committed to combating drug and alcohol abuse and violence through prevention. They mainly focus on providing activities and education to young adults in the greater Spokane area.

Around 38,000 people in 2007 entered some form of drug abuse or alcohol treatment in Washington State and around 32,000 people of the people admitted were admitted for some sort of drug problem. There are different types of drug use in Washington but the most prominent drug use known in Washington is heroin use, cocaine use, and marijuana use. All of these three drugs have a prominent presence in Washington and meth is making its debut rapidly. Meth use has grown rapidly since it began its popularity in the 1980s and 1990s.

The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council aims to prevent young adults from falling into a life of drugs and crime. Many kids begin drinking or using drugs as early as middle school or even sooner. This is dangerous. Teens who participate in underage drinking or drug use are more likely to be the victims of sexual assault or violent crimes. They are more likely to slack on school work and be involved in drinking-related car crashes. Underage drinking also increases the risk that a young person will develop drug or alcohol addiction later in life.

The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council began in 1982 as a coalition of community, faith, business and school leaders who sought to reduce substance abuse because of its effects on homes, work places and crime rates. They are involved in trying to change public perception of alcohol related collisions (encouraging media to refer to them as “crash” and not “accident” and trying to change the negative stigma associated with drug and alcohol treatment. The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council is also involved in increasing the community awareness of illegal meth production, gang related violence and impaired driving.

The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council’s goal is to decrease risk factors for substance abuse and violence and increase protective factors like nurturing schools, families and positive peer groups. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of parents with teenage children have never had a discussion with them about alcohol or drug use. The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council aims to improve that statistic and open lines of communication when it comes to alcohol and drug abuse.

Most recently, local youth and their families gathered on the ice at the Ice Palace in Riverfront Park to show their support for the Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council’s Draw the Line Campaign. The Draw the Line Campaign aims to reduce underage drinking by bringing attention to Washington’s new laws regulating outdoor alcohol ads, educating adults about the legal penalties for providing alcohol to minors.  In Washington State, alcohol is the leading cause of death among teens. The Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council is doing what they can to change that sad statistic, one campaign at a time.