About Us


Who We Are

PreventionFIRST!, formerly the Coalition for a Drug-Free Greater Cincinnati, was founded in 1996 by now Senator Rob Portman, Ohio First Lady Emeritus Hope Taft, Rev. Dr. Damon Lynch, and Former P&G Chairman John Pepper as a comprehensive effort to address youth substance abuse.  

The Coalition serves the population of the tri-state region where Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky converge. This combined metro region of two million people encompasses urban, suburban and rural communities. The population of the region is 75% Caucasian, 14% African American, 6% other, 2% Asian Pacific, 2% Latino/Hispanic, and 1% Native American.

Mission and Vision

Our Mission is to promote healthy behaviors by sparking and sustaining community change.

Our Vision is that people make healthy choices in every stage of life.


1). Ensure data-driven decision-making for prevention action.  Measuring the impact of our work & that of our partners is essential. PreventionFIRST! conducts the biannual Student Drug Use Survey for the collection of primary youth substance abuse data.  We have also established the Coalition Evaluation Center to track, monitor, and report on coalition activity and our contribution to community-level change.  Strategies include comprehensive assessments to understand the problem and related social consequences; evaluation of short-term and long-term outcomes; and research on special topics.

2). Strengthen & support local, neighborhood anti-drug efforts.  While our prevention actions are implemented on a regional, macro level, we work to establish new and support developing programs, partnerships, and local coalitions to address their unique community conditions. Strategies include providing training, technical assistance, and seed funding to assist and empower community residents, partners, and key leaders to address their issues.

3). Establish & strengthen collaboration across community sectors to implement evidence-based prevention. PreventionFIRST! has identified underage drinking, marijuana use and prescription/over-the-counter drug misuse as the primary substance abuse problems among our youth. Strategies are designed to change social acceptability, access/availability, media messaging/promotion, and policy/enforcement to create a more supportive & thriving environment for youth to grow up in. 

Click here to view the 2015 Strategic Plan

FY2017 Annual Report