How Does Prevention Work?

Prevention is the act of helping people (often with a focus on young people) avoid drug use and abuse.

Prevention aims to change personal, social or environmental factors in order to delay or avoid  the onset of drug use and its progression to harmful or problematic misuse.

Prevention strategies are aimed at increasing resources within a community so that individuals are more likely to make healthy choices and avoid the potential harm that drug use can cause.

Here are some examples of how Prevention Works!

  • Teaching parents simple, effective strategies to help their kids live healthy lives;
  • Programming for schools to reinforce the positive messages children should be hearing at home;
  • Youth Leadership groups for middle and high school youth to promote healthy and constructive lifestyles and teach skills to resist substance use.
  • Improving access to individual and family counseling.
  • Parenting classes and coaching.
  • Building academic/vocational skills to allow youth to become contributing members of society.
  • Mentoring programs and other opportunities for youth to develop relationships with positive adult role models.
  • Building social skills to enable the development of strong self-image that leads to positive life decisions.
  • Strengthening and supporting policies that promote healthy lifestyles and improve community norms.
  • Targeted media campaigns
  • Screenings, brief interventions and treatment referrals
  • Alcohol and tobacco tax increases
  • Health insurance coverage for prevention & addiction
  • Smoking bans in public places
  • Maintaining Minimum Legal Drinking Age of 21
  • Lowered blood alcohol levels for intoxicated driving offenses
  • Making posters warning about the dangers of underage alcohol use and other risky behavior.
  • Checking age identification before tobacco and alcohol products are sold and not selling to minors.
  • Training store and restaurant workers to sell/serve alcohol responsibly.
  • Compliance-checks to ensure alcohol and tobacco are not sold to minors.
  • Restricting sale of alcohol at public events
  • Restricting alcohol outlet density
  • Limiting privatization of retail alcohol sales
  • Social hosting liability laws
  • Alcohol advertisement and sponsorship restrictions
  • Sobriety Checkpoints
  • Party patrols and hotlines to report and prevent underage drinking

The Information and Resources page provides links to several sites with additional age-appropriate resources aimed at preventing substance use.

For more information about how to find your local coalition and other prevention resources click here.