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Prevention Strategies

How Prevention Strategies Work

Prevention strategies have the greatest potential for preventing substance abuse by reducing risk factors and increasing protective factors.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has identified six strategies that can assist in this process:

Information Dissemination.  This strategy increases knowledge and changes attitudes through communications.  It also provides information on available prevention programs and strategies.  The dissemination of information is characterized by one-way communication from the source to the audience, such as classroom speakers or media campaigns.

Prevention Education.  This strategy provides information and activities to affect critical life and social skills, including decision-making, refusal skills, and critical analysis.  Prevention education is characterized by two-way communication based on an interaction between the educator and the participants.

Positive Alternatives.  This strategy provides fun, challenging, and structured activities that exclude alcohol and drug use by providing constructive and healthy activities.

Community-Based Process.  This strategy aims to enhance the ability of the community to provide substance abuse prevention services more effectively.  Activities in this strategy include organizing, planning, networking, and forming coalitions to increase the community's ability to deliver effective prevention and treatment services.

Environmental Strategies.  This strategy seeks to establish or change community standards, codes, and attitudes, thereby influencing the general population's incidence and prevalence of drug abuse. In addition, this strategy calls for change in policies to reduce risk factors and increase protective factors. 


Identification of Problems and Referral to Services. This strategy is crucial in the prevention of substance abuse.  This process includes determining when the behavior of people who are at high risk requires education or other intensive interventions.   

To learn more about the strategies that the Wichita Mountains Prevention Network provides to its communities, please click on the following links:

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