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What Is Prevention?

Prevention is creating conditions that promote good health. It is achieved by reducing those factors that are known to cause illness and problem behaviors (risk factors) and encouraging those factors that buffer individuals and promote good health (protective factors).

Source: CT Dept of Mental Health and Addiction Services: Prevention Unit.

Prevention is part of a continuum:










Different levels of prevention are distinguished by the level of risk of disorder/ distress in various populations groups targeted as follows:

1. Universal Prevention Targets an entire population • National • Local • Community • School or Neighborhood Purpose is to deter the onset of substance use by providing the population with information and skills to prevent the problem. The entire population is considered at risk.

2. Selected Prevention You are at risk by virtue of membership in a particular segment of the population vulnerable to AOD abuse e.g. – Children of Adult Alcoholics (COA’s) – Students who are failing – Youth who live in high drug use neighborhoods Strategy/Approach targets the entire subgroup, regardless of the degree of risk of any individual within the group.

3. Indicated Prevention Targets individuals who are exhibiting early signs of substance abuse and other problem behaviors associated with substance abuse including early substance use e.g. Binge drinkers, High rate users.

Source: http://www.ca-cpi.org/Document_Archives/Presentations/IOM_CPC_042506.ppt

Prevention Framework
To identify and implement effective prevention interventions, SAMHSA has created the 5 step Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) that involves:

Step 1. Assessment Profile population needs, resources, and readiness to address needs and gaps

Step 2. Capacity Mobilize and/or build capacity to address needs

Step 3. Planning Develop a comprehensive strategic plan
**For a list of effective prevention strategies, visit:

Step 4. Implementation Implement evidence-based (e-b) prevention programs and activities ** For a list of e-b programs, go to: http://nrepp.samhsa.gov/

Step 5. Evaluation Monitor, evaluate, sustain, and improve or replace those elements that fail • Additional Considerations: Cultural Competence Sustainability

Online Free Prevention Courses
SAMHSA offers prevention courses that are free to the public. Some courses are meant for professionals and have continuing education credits available. Other courses are designed to provide helpful information to members of the general public interested in prevention topics. For more information, visit: http://pathwayscourses.samhsa.gov/

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