Prevention services promote health and well being of individuals, families and communities through a variety of strategies and activities. OPSP contracts for prevention services specifically designed to reduce the risks associated with substance use and abuse. While current funding is focused on services for addictive diseases and violence prevention, these services may also be effective with risk factors associated with social problems, such as crime, teen pregnancy, school failure, delinquency and economic dependence. Research confirms that interventions that reduce risk factors and increase protective factors linked to addictive diseases and related problem behaviors produce long-term positive outcomes.
Risk Factors increase the likelihood of substance abuse problems:
- Individual: rebelliousness and beginning drug use early
- Family: poor family management and parental attitudes favorable to drug use
- School: academic failure and low commitment to school
- Community: low neighborhood attachment and high community disorganization
Protective Factors buffer youth against exposure to risk:
- Individual: social skills and belief in the moral order
- Family: attachment and opportunities for prosocial involvement
- School and Community: opportunities for and rewards for prosocial involvement
Fund Sources - Required Strategies
Prevention is currently funded by two federal fund sources. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) administers the Substance Abuse and Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SAPTBG). The U.S. Department of Education administers the Governor’s Portion of Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities (SDFSC) Act funds. Each fund source outlines a set of authorized activities within their respective guidelines.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant
The Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant program provides annual funding to the States and Jurisdictions to plan, carry out, and evaluate authorized activities to prevent and treat substance abuse. The authorizing legislation and implementing regulation require States and Jurisdictions to obligate and expend Block Grant funds for certain activities, e.g., primary prevention, and early intervention services for HIV, and to demonstrate compliance with numerous performance requirements including maintenance of effort.
The SAPT Block Grant was established in FY 1993 when the Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Services (ADMS) Block Grant was split into two separate Block Grants for substance abuse prevention and treatment and mental health services.
Programs funded with SAPTBG funds must fall under one or more of the six CSAP primary prevention strategies.
Information Dissemination provides awareness and knowledge of the nature and extent of substance abuse and addition and its effect on individuals, families and communities. This strategy is also intended to increase knowledge and awareness of available prevention programs and services. Information dissemination is characterized by one-way communication from the source to the audience, with limited contact between the two.
- Clearinghouse/information resource center(s)
- Resource directories
- Media campaigns
- Radio/TV public service announcements
- Speaking engagements
- Health fairs/health promotion
- Information lines
Substance abuse prevention education involves two-way communication and is distinguished from the information dissemination strategy by the fact that interaction between the educator/facilitator and the participants is the basis of its components. Services under this strategy aim to improve critical live and social skills, including decision making, refusal skills, critical analysis and systematic judgment abilities.
- Classroom and/or small group sessions for all age groups
- Parenting and family management classes
- Peer leader/helper programs
- Education programs for youth groups
- Children of substance abusers groups
Alternatives provide for the participation of target populations in activities that exclude substance abuse. The assumption is that constructive healthy activities offset the attraction to or otherwise meet the needs usually filled by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and would therefore minimize or remove the need to use these substances.
- Drug free dances and parties
- Youth/adult leadership activities
- Community drop-in centers
- Community service activities
Problem Identification and Referral
Problem identification and referral aims to classify those who have indulged in illegal or age-inappropriate use of tobacco or alcohol and those who have indulged in the first of illicit drugs and to assess whether their behavior can be reversed through education.It should be noted, however, that this strategy does not include any function designed to determine whether a person is in need of treatment.
- Employee assistance programs
- Student assistance programs
- Driving while under the influence/driving while intoxicated education programs
Community-based process strategies aim to enhance the ability of the community to more effectively provide substance abuse prevention and treatment. Services in this strategy include organizing, planning and enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of service implementation, interagency collaboration, coalition building and networking.
- Community and volunteer training (e.g. neighborhood action training)
- Systemic planning
- Multi-agency coordination and collaboration
- Assessing services and funding
- Community team building
The environmental strategy establishes or changes written and unwritten community standards, codes and attitudes, thereby influencing the incidence and prevalence of the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by the general population. This strategy is divided into two subcategories to permit distinction between activities that center on legal and regulatory initiatives and those that relate to service and action-oriented initiatives.
- Promoting the establishment and review of alcohol, tobacco and drug use policies in schools
- Technical assistance to communities to maximize law enforcement procedures governing the availability and distribution of alcohol and tobacco.
- Modifying alcohol and tobacco advertising procedures
- Product pricing strategies
Programs funded with SDFSC funds must adhere to the Principles of Effectiveness set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (Title IV Subpart 1 Section 4115). Programs must:
- be based on an assessment of objective data regarding the incidence of violence and illegal drug use in the elementary schools and secondary schools and communities to be served, including an objective analysis of the current conditions and consequences regarding violence and illegal drug use, including delinquency and serious discipline problems, among students who attend such schools (including private school students who participate in the drug and violence prevention program) that is based on ongoing local assessment or evaluation activities;
- be based on an established set of performance measures aimed at ensuring that the elementary schools and secondary schools and communities to be served by the program have a safe, orderly, and drug-free learning environment;
- be based on scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program to be used will reduce violence and illegal drug use;
- be based on an analysis of the data reasonably available at the time, of the prevalence of risk factors, including high or increasing rates of reported cases of child abuse and domestic violence; protective factors, buffers, assets; or other variables in schools and communities in the State identified through scientifically based research; and
- include meaningful and ongoing consultation with and input from parents in the development of the application and administration of the program or activity; and
- be evaluated periodically against locally selected performance measures and modified over time to refine, improve, and strengthen the program.