EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention is an organisation founded in 2011 through the merger of three substance abuse prevention organisations.
EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention was founded on 1 June 2011, after three associations – the EOPH, the Finnish Association for Healthy Lifestyles and the Finnish Health Association NGO – concluded an agreement to merge their operations. The new organisation created through the merger, EHYT Finnish Association for Substance Abuse Prevention, started its operations on 1 January 2012.
The founders of EHYT – the EOPH, the Finnish Association for Healthy Lifestyles and the Finnish Health Association NGO – were all approximately 20-employee NGOs involved in substance abuse prevention.
The Finnish Association for Healthy Lifestyles and the Finnish Health Association NGO had their roots in the temperance organisations of the late 19th century and the 20th century. Originally, both associations had a political background and also somewhat different approaches to temperance. The EOPH was a newer association, founded in 1997 on the basis of an anti-drug campaign.
When measured in terms of personnel, financial support and operating budget, the organisations were of fairly equal size. All three associations received financial support from Finland’s Slot Machine Association (RAY). In addition to RAY, the organisations received financial assistance from different foundations and ministries in the form of project grants. The EOPH also carried out direct fundraising.
The merger was driven by the vision that one stronger organisation could achieve better results than three smaller, separate organisations. Furthermore, the organisations wanted to eliminate the political boundaries between them. The merger was preceded by two years of planning and preparation.
From the outset, EHYT started to work to promote healthy lifestyles in all population groups throughout Finland and to prevent the harm caused by substance abuse. The aim has been to promote societal discussion on questions related to substance abuse and to influence the Finnish public policy on substance abuse and the development of substance abuse prevention work.
Read more about EHYT’s history in the merger report (in Finnish)(pdf, 1 Mb)!