Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati


A biennial survey of teen drug use shows the majority of 7th-12th graders in southwest Ohio aren't using substances. PreventionFIRST! President Mary Haag says the survey finds alcohol, cigarette and prescription drug abuse is trending downward. Marijuana use has increased slightly.

The Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati has been an integral part of substance abuse prevention in Greater Cincinnati since its founding in 1996. While the organization will continue its work, it recently expanded its mission to promote substance abuse prevention as a lifetime choice. To help better identify its new focus, Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati also recently changed its name, to PreventionFIRST!. Here to discuss the changes are PreventionFIRST! President and CEO Mary Haag and Board of Trustee Members Larry Williams and Melinda Brown. Larry Williams is retired vice-president for Talbert House, and Melinda Brown is with Stayin'’ Alive, a PreventionFIRST! coalition member.


The Coalition for a Drug Free Greater Cincinnati has a new name.  Prevention First isn't as much of a mouthful, according to executive director Mary Haag.

“And that’s part of the point.  We felt like people didn’t truly understand who we are and what we do,” she said.

“We are still the go-to experts for substance abuse prevention," said Haag.  "But to be clear, some people would sometimes be confused.  Is it treatment, recovery support?  All of the other components that make up that issue.”

Centers for Disease Control

Several surveys in the past couple of years show binge drinking is a problem that doesn't get better with age:

A survey of Tristate students  finds the majority are not using or abusing drugs and other substances.

The 2014 Student Drug-Use Survey finds:

  • 95.7% do not use prescription drugs non-medically
  • 90.2% do not smoke cigarettes
  • 88.6% do not use marijuana
  • 82.2% do not use alcohol

The study is conducted every two years by the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati (CDFGC). More than 56,000 7th-12th grade students from 107 schools took the survey this past fall.