Substance Abuse Prevention

Opioid Prevention PSAs


2018 Annual Synar Report

2017 Annual Synar Report

Department Of Education’s Alcohol & Drug Ed/Substance Abuse Prevention Related Information

Prevention involves interventions that occur prior to the onset of a disorder and are intended to prevent or reduce risk for the disorder. It is a proactive process that enables individuals to create and reinforce conditions that promote healthy behaviors and lifestyles.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA) is the primary funder of Prevention Services in Georgia. SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) developed and recognizes the delivery of prevention services through a comprehensive, multi-strategic prevention approach by

  • Providing national leadership in the development of policies, programs, and services to prevent the onset of illegal drug use, prescription drug misuse and abuse, alcohol misuse and abuse, and underage alcohol and tobacco use
  • Promoting effective substance abuse prevention practices that enable states, communities, and other organizations to apply prevention knowledge effectively

Using multiple strategies has the greatest potential to reduce and prevent substance abuse by reducing risk and increasing protective factors:

CSPA’s 6 Primary Prevention Strategies

  1. Information Dissemination
  2. Prevention Education
  3. Alternative Activities
  4. Problem Identification and Referral
  5. Community-based processes
  6. Environmental Strategies


  1. Information Dissemination
  • Providing information about the nature and extent of drug use, abuse and addiction and the effects on individuals, families and communities.
  • Includes providing information about the availability of prevention programs and services as well as treatment services.
  • Characterized by one way communication
    • e.g. Public Service Announcements/Media Campaigns, Speaking engagements, informational Brochures, Social Marketing and Networking Websites
  1. Prevention Education
  • Aims to affect critical life and social skills including decision making, critical analysis, coping and refusal skills.
  • Methods include classroom and small group sessions; in and after school, and in community group settings, workplaces, etc.
  • Characterized by two way communication at minimum but may include multiple communication channels (e.g peer to peer) workshops, presentations.


  1. Alternative Activities
  • Provides opportunities to participate in activities that are alcohol and drug free and that promote constructive use of time that offset the attraction of drug use and meet developmental needs.
  • Includes drug free social and recreational activities, alcohol and drug free parties and art events, youth and adult leadership activities, community service projects and single or multilayered mentoring programs.


  1. Problem Identification and Referral
  • Aims to identify those who have indulged in substance use/experimentation and intervene such that these behaviors can be changed.
  • Includes DUI programs, Employee and Student Assistance Programs. (EAPs & SAPs)
  • Includes identification of those negatively impacted by substance use/abuse and/or violence and their -consequences (e.g. FAS and other developmental disabilities).


  1. Community Based Processes
  • Aims to enhance the ability of the community to provide effective prevention services.
  • Includes organizing, planning, interagency collaboration, coalition building and operations, and promoting implementation of services and programs.
  • Activities include community team building, data collection and analysis, volunteer training and mentor development, multi-agency coordination and collaboration, etc.


  1. Environmental Strategies
  • Designed to change or establish community attitudes, codes and norms and standards that influence the prevalence of substances and their use or abuse.
  • Includes technical assistance to communities to maximize local enforcement of laws governing sale to minors, environmental scans of advertising targeting youth or other population groups, review and establishment of school drug possession or student drug testing policies, advocacy, etc.


Risk and Protective Factors

Risk Factors increase the likelihood of substance use disorders:

  • 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
Regional Prevention Specialists

Prevention Specialist Supervisor
Nykia Greene-Young
404-463-6441 (office) 404-304-1391 (cell)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-482
Atlanta, GA 30303

Region 1
Brian K. Le
404-657-2165 (office)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-486
Atlanta, GA 30303
Region 2
Aliza Petiwala
404-657-2134 (office)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-485
Atlanta, GA 30303
Region 3
Nia A. Sutton
404-657-2259 (office)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-484
Atlanta, GA 30303
Regions 4 and 5
Mikayla Charles
404-463-4111 (office)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-496
Atlanta, GA 30303
Region 6
Alisha Roberts
404-651-5980 (office)
Office of Behavioral Health Prevention
2 Peachtree St. NW Suite 22-494
Atlanta, GA 30303