In 1964, a group of volunteers who shared common concerns about alcoholism affecting individuals and families within Butler County, Ohio, brought their personal and professional expertise to problem-solve. They collaborated on projects that promoted public education and advocacy for treatment of individuals affected by alcoholism. This was at a time when the National Council on Alcoholism was gaining in prevalence and competing theories were being developed between a sociological approach and medical approach (alcoholism as a disease).
In 1970, the Alcoholism Council of Butler County was incorporated as a nonprofit and hired staff to fulfill its functions that began with dedicated volunteers. This began the path of professionalization and leadership locally to stay committed to building healthy and safe communities.
The agency pioneered free-standing inpatient alcoholism treatment in the mid-1970’s. The theory of co-occurring substance abuse disorders was expanding nationally and the agency expanded its services to include alcohol and chemical dependency treatment.
In the 1980’s, the War on Drugs helped expand the conversation publicly on how to approach alcohol and chemical dependence. Additional funds helped to hire community health workers, which really turned the agency towards prevention programming. The agency advanced substance use prevention from slogans to outcome-driven programming. Empowered youth became a focus that had dual results: substance use prevention for the teens, and positive role-modeling for the youth with which they interacted. Teen Institute was developed and the Alcohol and Chemical Abuse Council of Butler County became a prevention pioneer within the State of Ohio.
Dynamic approaches continued to blossom through the 1990’s and 2000’s, including ACCESS driver intervention education, business sector programming used to intervene and prevent loss of employee productivity caused by substance abuse, community coalitions that involve multiple sectors that bring their individual expertise to address a common concern. We have been a leader in prevention programming by utilizing the Strategic Prevention Framework, which amplifies areas of concern. This led to the development of an adult low-risk drinking course, called Minimize Risk, Maximize Life , the College Campus Low-Risk Gambling Prevention and Awareness Plan, and the Butler County Suicide Prevention Plan.
In 2006, the Alcoholism and Chemical Abuse Council of Butler County underwent a branding change to reflect the change from treatment to prevention. Envision Partnerships was born, along with the tagline and logo that emphasize the mission of empowering individuals, families, and communities. The tagline, “Life is What You Make It” coupled with the logo that offers a visual interconnectedness, demonstrates the commitment to providing tools that promote health and well-being.
In 2018, an image was created around the slogan “Prevention is our Superpower”. This represents the great hope and equal challenge of the 21st Century. The changing technology of substance use (e.g. electronic cigarettes), loosening of laws (e.g., cannabis), and increase in generational effects of substance use disorder (e.g., the opiate epidemic) have all contributed to heightened public awareness. By working in coordination with individuals, schools, and communities, Envision Partnerships continues its regional leadership by providing expertise in all things prevention.
Our roots are strong and we become a superpower by working with community partners. Every individual has a role in prevention, by increasing their own personal health and well-being and spreading that to their families and communities. We are one drop in the puddle, but together we make powerful ripples in creating a healthy, happy, wholesome Southwest Ohio for all.