About Us

Our mission is to educate, advocate, and empower the community to prevent substance abuse and promote mental health 

across the lifespan in Mahoning County. 

The Coalition began in 2007 and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit entity. 

Membership is free and open to the public; members come from all backgrounds & locations, but share a common interest in 

preventing or decreasing substance use in Mahoning County!

Activities range from training sessions & town hall meetings to large scale collaborative projects.

Our partners include Youngstown State University, local businesses, 

law enforcement professionals, healthcare workers, 

alcohol/drug prevention and treatment professionals, 

and community members- just like YOU!


What we do & what we know!

What Works in Preventing Youth Substance Use:

  • Celebrating good choices. 
  • Conversations with caring adults; make it clear that you disapprove of drug use & share set expectations and consequences for breaking the rules.
  • Evidence-based prevention programs.
  • Goal-setting & planning for the future.
  • Positioning youth for success by practicing peer-pressure refusal skills & by being the “excuse” that young people need.
  • Social norm messaging; for example, research shows that “everyone” is NOT participating in the behavior.
  • Youth-led prevention.

Good intentions are not the same as good prevention...

Strategies that may be helpful for adults can be misinterpreted by young minds, ultimately leading to increased experimentation or use.

Things to avoid with short-term* youth programs:

  • Cautionary-tale speakers: for example, people in recovery & family members who have lost loved ones. 
  • Crash cars.
  • Drunk goggles & grim reaper games. 
  • Scare tactics; data shows these can INCREASE youth substance use.
  • Social norm messaging: for example, research shows that "everyone" is NOT participating in the behavior. 

*These items can be used effectively, if youth participate in a long-term prevention education program.

Check out our video

The Coalition for a Drug-Free Mahoning County is a proud member of The Preferred Care Network, formed by the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board (MCMHRB).

The MCMHRB Preferred Care Network comprises 10 non-profit organizations funded by the Board that have demonstrated that they are qualified, caring, & have the best interests of those they serve at heart.