The Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs (UMADAOP) of Ohio were established in 1980 via legislation spearheaded by former State Representative William L. Mallory. Representative Mallory was informed by Don Turner of Cincinnati, a professional in the field of substance abuse, that the culturally specific needs of African Americans were not being met. Jacqueline P. Butler, a long time advocate for underserved populations, shared with Mallory and others that state monies were available to possibly fund a substance abuse service delivery system specifically targeting Ohio's minority community. Under the guidance of Representative Mallory, along with former Ohio State Senator William F. Bowen (one of Ohio's most highly respected politicians), Turner, Butler and many others worked to develop a statewide network that adequately addressed the prevention of alcohol abuse among African and Hispanic Americans throughout Ohio.
With a $200,000.00 appropriation in 1979 (House Bill 204), the state network was born. The original programs were entitled The Urban Minority Alcoholism Outreach Programs (UMAOP) and operated under the guidance of implementing agencies. The eight original programs were located in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Cleveland Hispanic, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown. Through the years, other programs were added.
In the mid 1980's crack cocaine and other drugs began to take a devastating toll on the African and Hispanic American communities. Although UMAOP had always addressed drugs other than alcohol, in 1987 the 117 th Ohio General Assembly passed into law the name change to The Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs of Ohio.
In the early years of UMADAOP, the main programming emphasis was on community outreach and education. It was important then as it is now to work around cultural barricades and get people to see that they could exist without alcohol and to develop the total individual so that they could live a life independent of substances.
Cleveland was the first to become a freestanding agency, followed by Cincinnati and Columbus. Today, all of the programs are freestanding and do not operate under an implementing agency.
Throughout the years, many individuals have worked on the local state and federal level to ensure that UMADAOP of Ohio remains a strong and vital force in this state. Along with others mentioned in this historical sketch, one such individual is Jewel E. Neely-Smith. For over ten years, Ms. Neely has worked to promote the availability and accessibility of programs that are culturally appropriate for Ohio's special populations. Another such individual is former State Representative Ray Miller. While chairperson of the Human Resources Subcommittee (Ohio House) and the Ohio commission on Minority Health, he was a strong advocate for minority health issues and worked toward the increase in state funding to the UMADAOPs over the years.
Since their inception, the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs of Ohio have grown to become a vital force in meeting the substance abuse education, prevention and treatment needs of African and Hispanic Americans throughout the state of Ohio. UMADAOPs of Ohio are grateful for their insights of those who worked toward the programs establishments.
There's a saying: “None Of Us are Is Free Until All Of Us Are Free.” To that end, the Urban Minority Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Outreach Programs of Ohio will continue to serve Ohio's underserved populations by providing culturally appropriate substance abuse prevention and community outreach services to African and Hispanic Americans.