Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition members and community youth leaders are in Columbus today meeting with state lawmakers to talk about prevention. (Submitted)

Columbus, Ohio - Tuscarawas County Anti-Drug Coalition members and youth prevention leaders are hitting the road again for the chance to have some face time with our state lawmakers.

Coordinator Jodi Salvo eight coalition members and 10 students are headed to Columbus for the day to share their goals and concerns with 98th District State Representative Brett Hillyer and State Senator Jay Hottinger.

“[It’s] just kind of to touch base, get to meet Representative Hillyer for the first time as a prevention team and really just to let him know of some of the work that we do here in Tuscarawas County from the coalition standpoint and from Youth-Led Prevention and also invite him to come to the table, attend some of the events that we host, support prevention efforts in the county,” she says.

Salvo says topics on the agenda include medical marijuana and the opioid epidemic, along with youth mental health and electronic cigarette use.

“I am confident we’ll be speaking about Juuling. Our students are very passionate about wanting to address this recent epidemic on Juuling, especially in the middle and high schools,” she says.

Salvo says the students are very excited for this opportunity, and she says it has been fun watching them prepare for these meetings. 

“Each youth group kind of is thinking about what are some of those topics that are dear to their schools and their community and their heart, so they all have just some information they want to bring with them,” she says.

The team also traveled to Washinton DC recently and met with US Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman. Salvo says those meetings were a bit different than what they’re doing down in Columbus.

“When we’re going to Washington DC, we’re really advocating for prevention, for funding, for community anti-drug coalitions. When we go into the state of Ohio, we get really into specifics, what are we dealing with here,” she says.

Salvo says they’ll be returning to the state capital again in April with an entire busload of students for the We Are the Majority youth prevention rally.


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