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Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs

The Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs (UMADAOP) of Ohio provide programming with the belief that substance abuse is best prevented and treated when the cultural dynamics of a group are addressed and included in the process of prevention, treatment, recovery and education. Chemical dependency is viewed as an illness of the total person, which has physiological, psychological, social-cultural and spiritual components that require a holistic approach.

The UMADAOPs were originally established in 1980 via legislation (House Bill 204) to address the prevention of alcohol abuse among African and Hispanic Americans throughout the state. The original eight programs were called Urban Minority Alcoholism Outreach Programs (UMAOP) and operated under the guidance of implementing agencies. They were located in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Hispanic, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. Through the years, other programs were added, and although UMAOP had always addressed drugs other than alcohol, in 1987, the 117th Ohio General Assembly passed into law the name change to the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs of Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services currently funds 11 UMADAOPs and one specialized program component in northwest Ohio to provide additional services to Hispanic citizens. They are a vital force in meeting the substance abuse education, prevention and treatment needs of African and Hispanic/Latino Americans throughout the state of Ohio.


The primary purpose of the UMADAOPs is to provide culturally appropriate prevention services to African-American and Hispanic/Latino American communities in Ohio. Prevention services strategies include information dissemination, education, alternatives, problem identification and referral, community-based process and environmental strategies outlined by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). UMADAOPs of Ohio also conduct programming to achieve the four prevention goals of OhioMHAS:

  • To increase abstinence from alcohol and illicit drug use
  • To defer the onset of alcohol use
  • To eliminate high-risk use of alcohol and other legal drugs
  • To impact environmental “risk” factors in communities

All programming activities are structured to provide a foundation to build and rebuild positive, violence and substance free lifestyles, families and communities. This is achieved by increasing protective factors within the community and family domains. Seven of the UMADAOPs also provide alcohol and other drug recovery support services to reduce the recidivism rate of African American males returning to prison due to alcohol- or drug-related and/or involved offenses. These services are provided in Hamilton, Cuyahoga, Lorain, Lucas, Montgomery, Richland and Trumbull counties.