In addition to active and engaged presence and encounters, EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention focuses also on public health advocacy. Furthermore, EHYT coordinates joint activities for a number of other organisations in the substance abuse prevention sector.

A person skiing in the dark with a lamp.
Photo: Jukka Rapo / EHYT

Substance abuse prevention cannot be carried out effectively without taking the surrounding society into account. EHYT’s operations are guided by the principle that health and well-being must be considered in all decision-making. Advocacy consists of providing information to the decision-makers and the general public on matters related to substance abuse, gaming and gambling, participation in public policy debates and extensive cooperation with different parties.

Advocacy activities include, for instance, statements and hearings, communications campaigns, membership in various networks, meetings and consultations with decision-makers and authorities as well as guidelines and recommendations.

Cooperation with different parties is at the core of our advocacy. We coordinate the national network of substance abuse prevention organisations and cooperate regionally with municipalities and local organisations. In addition to national activities, EHYT has strengthened cooperation with the Nordic countries, the Baltic countries, the European Union and the World Health Organization.

Substance abuse prevention is closely intertwined with sustainable well-being. Work does not encompass only the social welfare and health care sector. The negative effects of alcohol, drugs, nicotine, gaming and gambling affect the national economy and working life, for instance. A cross-sectoral health, income and social policy reduces inequality and supports well-being and the growth of the national economy.

EHYT plays a key role in promoting and influencing the resource allocation of substance abuse prevention and its consideration in all decision-making.

As an advocacy agent, EHYT takes a stand by participating in the policy debate and decision-making covering alcohol, drugs, tobacco, nicotine, and gambling. We carry out campaign work, participate in forums for discussion and debate, attend meetings and face-to-face discussions with our target groups. Our aim is to further health and well-being and healthy life styles as well as increasing health-awareness among the general public.

We have a keen interest in expanding our network of cooperation beyond the national level. We participate in international collaboration as a member of Eurocare and NordAN and our aim is to strengthen our cooperation with WHO, other UN agencies, as well as engage in regional collaboration.