Prevention | Youth Prevention

Evidence-based prevention programs


Effective programming can contribute to decreased rates of substance misuse

90%

90% of those who become addicted beginning their substance misuse in adolescence

Implementing evidence-based prevention programming can decrease rates of substance misuse, along with the number of individuals who develop a substance use disorder. Effective programming can contribute to decreased rates of substance misuse, delivering numerous positive effects for the community. With 90 percent of those who become addicted beginning their substance misuse in adolescence, it is critical that our young people are exposed to these practices at an early age.

Successful prevention practices can and should be delivered to youth through as many avenues as possible, including school programming, the home environment, and through peer-to-peer delivery methods. Moreover, effective practices are not exclusive to younger people, as excessive substance misuse can lead to the development of a substance use disorder at any point in a person’s life.

“ Implementing evidence-based prevention programming can decrease rates of substance misuse, along with the number of individuals who develop a substance use disorder.

TYPES OF EVIDENCE-BASED PREVENTION PROGRAMS:

  •   Universal Programs: address risk and protective factors common to all in a given setting, such as school or community
  •   Selective Programs: target groups who have factors that put them at increased risk of drug use
  •   Indicated Programs: are designed for those who have already begun using drugs

Prevention activities can be broken down into two categories: Supply-side prevention methods and demand side prevention methods. 

Examples of demand-side prevention:

Demand-side prevention seeks to limit consumer demand for alcohol and other drugs, addressing factors such as desirability, cultural stigma attached to individual substance or substance use, legal status, and cost.

  • School prevention programs (e.g. D.A.R.E.)
  • Healthcare providers providing patient education by speaking with patients about the addictive qualities of opioid prescription medications, the dangers of taking more of a prescription medication than prescribed, setting realistic expectations for pain management, and providing a greater understand of substance use disorder risk factors and harms.
  • Parents talking with their children about the dangers and harms of using alcohol or other drugs.

Examples of supply-side prevention:

Supply-side prevention seeks to decrease alcohol and drug use by limiting the supply of available alcohol and other drugs, regulating factors such as availability, accessibility, legal status, and price. Historically, criminal justice involvement and policies in the “War on Drugs,” primarily focuses on targeting supply.

  • Imposing a 7-day supply limit on all opioid prescriptions medication after acute injuries to reduce the likelihood of transition to chronic use.
  • Take-back programs where individuals can discard un-used prescription medications at pharmacies and police stations.
  • Prescription drug monitoring programs are electronic databases that track controlled substance prescriptions, to see quantity and type of prescriptions given by any provider, but also track across individual patients so states can better understand the behavior of the epidemic and evaluate interventions.
  • Harsher sentencing in the criminal justice system for larger quantities, transportation, or sale of any given illicit substance.

This guide was developed with the guidance of the Recovery Research Institute. Please visit their site for more evidenced-based information on treatment and recovery.


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