According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAHMSA), prevention helps people develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors.
Strategic Prevention Framework
Individual and environmental intervention strategies are two primary approaches to preventing substance use disorders.
Some prevention interventions are designed to help individuals develop the intentions and skills to act in a healthy manner. Others focus on creating environments that support healthy behavior. Research indicates that the most effective prevention interventions incorporate both approaches. Targeted prevention identifies and reaches out to populations that are at a higher risk for substance misuse.
Any prevention approach should be used with the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF). Learn more about applying the SPF.
The prevention workforce must also have the cultural competence to effectively engage with the individuals or communities they are targeting. Learn more about cultural competence and the SPF.
Sustainability is another important component of prevention efforts, and the focus of any such effort should be on sustaining positive outcomes, not sustaining any particular program. Learn more about sustainability.
Seven Strategies for Community Change
ASAP of Anderson works toward population level substance misuse prevention by incorporating a comprehensive and complementary approach to The Seven Strategies for Community Change.
- Providing Information – education, presentations, printed media and media campaigns (e.g.: I AM ONE media campaign promoting Tennessee’s Social Host Liability Law, promotion of drug disposal locations)
- Building Skills – workshops and training classes (e.g.: responsible alcohol sales classes, drug-free workplace trainings, parent classes)
- Providing Support – providing positive alternative activities, mentoring, referrals, support groups and clubs (e.g.: ASAP Youth Ambassadors, tips for parents and teens, age verification materials for businesses)
- Enhancing Access/Reducing Barriers – increasing opportunities to utilize systems and services (e.g.: providing treatment referrals, medication disposal events)
- Changing Consequences – increasing the likelihood of good behavior and decreasing the likelihood of bad behavior (e.g.: fine structure for businesses that sell alcohol to minors, reward responsible businesses)
- Physical Design – modifying the physical design of the environment (e.g.: park signage, permanent medication disposal bins at police departments and pharmacies)
- Modifying/Changing Policy – formal changes in laws or rules and encouraging enforcement of existing regulations (e.g.: mandatory training for clerks who sell alcohol, mandatory I.D. checks for those purchasing alcohol)