Making Healthy Choices

Why Prevention?

It just makes sense!

Substance abuse is among the most costly health problems in the United States. Among national estimates of the costs of illness for 33 diseases and conditions, alcohol ranked second, tobacco ranked sixth, and drug disorders ranked seventh (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2000). 

You can make a difference!  We know that you, a caring friend, co-worker, or loved one, can help prevent substance abuse addiction, saving the individual and their family from a difficult road out of addiction and through recovery.

“Parents and adult caregivers can play a powerful role in preventing alcohol use among teens and young adults. Talking to youths about the dangers of underage drinking (binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse),, creating and maintaining open lines of communication, and sending a clear message that underage drinking (binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse) is not acceptable are some effective ways to prevent underage drinking (binge drinking, marijuana use, and prescription drug misuse).”

Explore our site for more resources on how to talk to your friends and loved ones and help them choose prevention!

Prevention is cheaper!

For each $1 spent on prevention efforts we save up to $18 in related medical and treatment costs.

Substance related addictions are expensive.  Whether it’s alcohol, prescription drugs, marijuana, or tobacco – all of these products have a high cost to the users and their families.

Health Starts Where You Live, Work and Play

Healthy Community Design

Where you live is an important factor in how you live. You make decisions every day that impact your health and the choices you make are heavily influenced by your surroundings and what you have access to. Healthy Community Design is a larger national and global movement that is calling on the public health and planning communities to come together as partners to address many of the leading public health challenges that we face today.

One of the greatest benefits of Healthy Community Design is that it puts you and your well-being at the forefront of planning and decision making. It focuses on “place” which includes our built and social environments (our workplaces, our community centers, our schools) and looks at how the policies and design of these places impact our behavior and activity patterns. Healthy Community Design strives to make visible in our communities the common values that we all share, through our policies, our infrastructure and ultimately our cultural norms.

When we create walkable village centers, continuous bike and pedestrian systems, networks of park and recreation areas and have healthy foods available at our local retailers it becomes easier for you to make healthy choices simply by having these options as a natural part of your surroundings. Designing communities with health in mind offers new opportunities and aims to reduce health disparities among our vulnerable populations so that everyone has a fair chance at health.  For example, having trees for shade and benches along our sidewalks not only makes the area more pleasant, but provides a place to sit and rest for those who may need it. This makes walking to the post office or market an option!

Healthy active living is essential to good health and quality of life and it’s our vision that everyone lives in a community that supports these choices.

Primer on Planning for Prevention

On April 15, 2015 we had the privilege of hosting a community workshop with national Healthy Community Design expert, Mark Fenton.