Healthy Choices About Substance Use

Healthy Choices About Substance Use

Interact for Health wants to boost people's ability to live a good life. Part of this involves helping people make healthy choices about substance use. This means not only avoiding drugs such as heroin, but also drinking alcohol in moderation, not smoking and not misusing prescription pain medicines. People must understand the risks they are taking and how to manage them. They need to cultivate the ability to identify and refuse unacceptable risks. They need to work with others to create safe environments.
Our current efforts are directed in three areas:


The one thing that would improve health the most in our region would be to reduce our tobacco use. Smokers who quit can add 10 years to their lives (and save a lot of money). Smokers are at greater risk for cancer, heart disease and stroke.

Secondhand smoke caused by smokers in the home or other indoor places causes significant health problems for nonsmokers. These include ear infections, asthma attacks and respiratory infections in children, and heart disease, lung cancer and stroke in adults.

Do we in Greater Cincinnati smoke more than the rest of the country?

Ohio's smoking rate is 19 percent (Ohio Health Issues Poll, 2015), the same as the nation (Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [BRFSS], 2013). Smoking rates are higher in Kentucky and Indiana. In Kentucky, 26 percent of adults report being current smokers (Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 2015), while in Indiana 22 percent of adults report this (BRFSS, 2013).

Do certain groups smoke more than others?

According to the Centers for Disesase Control and Prevention (CDC), people living below the poverty level and people with less education are more likely to smoke cigarettes. They have a higher risk of lung cancer and are more likely to be exposured to secondhand smoke.

Smoking is much more common among adults with mental health conditions. According to the CDC, more than 1 in 3 adults with a mental health condition smokes cigarettes (36%). At least 3 out of every 10 cigarettes smoked by adults in the United States are smoked by people with mental health conditions.

To see Interact for Health's official position statement about tobacco free environments, click here.

For more information about this program contact Program Officer Megan Folkerth at 513-458-6631 or


Right now, in our region, two people die from an accidental opioid overdose at least every day on average. Most people who get into trouble with these drugs began by using prescription pain medicines.

If you are being treated for pain, and your pain does not decrease with treatment, talk with your doctor. It can be very dangerous to use powerful painkillers for too long, to increase your painkiller dose or to take alcohol or other drugs with them.

The Food and Drug Administration has A Guide to Safe Use of Pain Medicine on its website.

The American Institute for Preventive Medicine offers a downloadable document about How To Take Painkillers Safely.

A study released in March 2017 found that with a 10-day supply of prescription opioids, 1 in 5 people will become long-term users. When people get a 30-day supply, nearly half will become long-term users. That’s why it’s important to take opioids only in the correct dosage and for the duration prescribed by a doctor. It’s also important to get rid of unused opioids so others do not use them.

These police departments in the Ohio counties of Interact for Health’s service area have free prescription drug collection bins. The dropboxes are provided in partnership with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Ohio Department of Health and the Drug Free Action Alliance.

Adams County

  • Manchester Police Department, 400 Pike St., Manchester, OH 45144

Brown County

  • Fayetteville Police Department, 81 W. Pike St., Fayetteville, OH 45118
  • Georgetown Police Department, 108 E. State St., Georgetown, OH 45121
  • Mt. Orab Police Department, 211 S. High St., Mt. Orab, OH 45154
  • Sardinia Police Department, 151 Maple Ave., Sardinia, OH 45171

Butler County

  • Butler County Sheriff's Office, 705 Hanover St., Hamilton, OH 45011
  • Fairfield City Police Department, 5230 Pleasant Ave., Fairfield, OH 45014
  • Hamilton Police Department, 331 Front St., Hamilton, OH 45011
  • Miami University Police, 4945 Oxford-Trenton Road, Oxford, OH 45056
  • Middletown Police Department, 1 Donham Plaza, Middletown, OH 45042
  • Monroe Police Department, 233 S. Main St., Monroe, OH 45050
  • Oxford Police Department, 11 S. Poplar St. Oxford, OH 45056

Clermont County

  • Clermont County Sheriff's Office, 4470 State Route 222, Batavia, OH 45103
  • Goshen Township Police Department, 6757 Goshen Road, Goshen, OH 45122

Clinton County

  • Clinton County Sheriff's Office, 1645 Davids Drive, Wilmington, OH 45177

Hamilton County

  • Colerain Police Department, 4200 Springdale Road, Cincinnati, OH 45251
  • Delhi Township Police Department, 934 Neeb Road, Cincinnati, OH 45233
  • Evendale Police Department, 10500 Reading Road, Cincinnati, OH 45241
  • Green Township Police Department, 6303 Harrison Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45247
  • Greenhills Police Department, 11000 Winton Road, Greenhills, OH 45218
  • Indian Hill Rangers, 6525 Drake Road, Cincinnati, OH 45243
  • Lockland Police Department, 101 N. Cooper Ave., Lockland, OH 45215
  • Madeira Police Department, 7141 Miami Ave., Madeira, OH 45243
  • University of Cincinnati Police Department, 51 W. Corry Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45221
  • Warren County Franklin Police Department, 400 Anderson St., Franklin, OH 45005
  • Maineville Police Department, 8188 S. Ohio 48, Maineville, OH 45039

Other dropbox locations throughout the state can be found at

Interact has helped create comprehensive plans to address the opioid epidemic in Northern Kentucky and  Hamilton County. We have also funded the creation of plans that are in progress in Brown, Clinton and Warren counties in Ohio and in Southeast Indiana.

To download "Northern Kentucky's Collective Response to the Heroin Epidemic: Our Road to Recovery," click here.

To download "Reversing the Tide: Hamilton County's Response to the Opioid Epidemic," click here.

The video below details Interact's work to combat the heroin epidemic.

For more information about this program contact Senior Program Officer Kelly Firesheets at 513-458-6647 or

To learn more about our Healthy Choices About Substance Use work, click here. To see a list of grantees, click here.


Regardless of marijuana's legal status in various states, there is evidence that marijuana harms the brains of children and young adults. Interact for Health believes that children and adults younger than 21 should not have legal access to marijuana for recreational use. To read Interact's full official position statement about marijuana and young people, click here.

Interact also believes that if marijuana is to be used as a prescribed medicine, it should receive the same review, regulation and oversight as every other prescribed medicine. To read Interact's full official position statement about marijuana as medicine, click here.

Health Watch

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