Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment
The Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) is a biennial statewide student survey measuring risk and protective factors. Risk and protective factors are attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that research has shown to be highly correlated with behavioral health problems such as substance abuse. The OPNA is sponsored in even-numbered years by the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services in cooperation with the State Departments of Education and Health. 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th-grade students comprise the survey base, and they are drawn from participating public, private, and charter schools. Both school and student participation are voluntary. Parent permission is a prerequisite to student participation.
The OPNA has proven a vital source of information for prevention providers. Because OPNA reports can be generated by region, county, zip code, school district, or by the individual school (a capability no other Oklahoma survey offers), they allow concerned parties to tailor their prevention efforts to the needs of specific populations; to see how existing efforts are working, and to allocate resources responsively. The OPNA also helps ensure that the state and participating regions and counties maintain important prevention funding and that agencies engaging in competitive fund processes (e.g., grant writing) have access to needed data.
Why is the OPNA Important?
Substance Abuse has a negative effect on student performance. OPNA differs in that it tells us why students are using. These "risk factors" impact school outcomes.
What information is collected?
Alcohol, tobacco & other drug use and access.
Behaviors that students or their friends may or may not have done, (e.g., "How many times in the past year have you volunteered to do community service?")
Risk and protective factors, (e.g., "If I had a personal problem I could ask my mom or dad for help.")
Benefits for your Students
Data collected can be used by schools to:
Apply for grants such as after-school programs and Drug-Free Communities.
Monitor drug testing programs.
Develop school safety initiatives.
Implement drug & alcohol education programs.
How you can help?
If you are a school administrator, teacher or parent, contact us to find out how your school can participate in this survey. The OPNA is scheduled to take place in the following months:
December 2021; and
To view the Ardmore and Lawton offices 2019-2020 OPNA outcomes click on the links below: