What is Prevention?
- What is our definition of prevention?
- What does prevention include?
- What is our operational definition of prevention?
- ADAP Prevention Program Overview
- Why do people use alcohol & drugs?
- What are the basic prevention strategies?
- What have we learned from the evaluation of prevention?
- Successful prevention of youth high-risk behaviors
What is our definition of prevention?
- “To prevent” literally means “to keep something from happening”
- The term “prevention” is reserved for those interventions that occur before the initial onset of disorder.
What does prevention include?
- Universal preventive interventions…targeted to the general public or a whole population group that has not been identified on the basis of individual risk.
- Selective preventive interventions…targeted to individuals or a subgroup of the population whose risk ... is significantly higher than average.
- Indicated preventive interventions…targeted to high-risk individuals who are identified as having minimal but detectable signs or symptoms ... but who do not meet…diagnostic levels at the present time.
What is our operational definition of prevention?
- The promotion of constructive lifestyles and norms that discourage drug use.
- Prevention is achieved through the application of multiple strategies; it is an ongoing process that must relate to each emerging generation.
The ADAP Prevention Program Overview contains an overview of the Prevention Unit and the supported strategies, along with some key data. Hopefully, this document will be useful for you and your partners when communicating about prevention in Vermont and the work of the ADAP Prevention Unit.
Why do people use alcohol & drugs?
- Belief that drugs are not harmful
- Belief that drugs alleviate the symptoms of depression
- As an attempt to cope with traumatic experiences, for example, childhood sexual abuse or school failure
- Sensation-seeking behavior
- Substance use by family members
- Peer pressure
- Community norms
- Exposure to pro-use message in mass media
- Access and availability
What are the basic prevention strategies?
- Raise awareness of the dangers of drug use and the benefits of constructive behavior.
- Promote good parenting skills and strengthen the family as the first defense against drug abuse. Build academic/vocational skills to allow individuals the potential of developing into contributing members of society.
- Provide mentoring and positive role modeling for youth. Build social skills to enable the development of strong self-image that leads to positive life decisions.
- Mobilize communities to establish environments enhancing positive personal development.
- Strengthen and support policies that promote healthy lifestyles and change community norms.
What have we learned from the evaluation of prevention?
- No single approach works for everyone. Among adolescents and younger children, a psychosocial approach emphasizing personal skills development and task-oriented training often reduces AOD use.
- Among adults, changing the policies, regulations, and laws to alter the community environment reduces AOD problems. Among adolescents at significant risk, individual counseling and family intervention show promise in affecting long-term risk and protective factors.
- Sensitivity to and inclusion of the cultural values of the target community enhances effectiveness.
Data provided by CSAP, The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention