Substance misuse prevention work is a process

It begins with a deep understanding of the community by assessing its specific substance misuse problems. A successful prevention effort also requires getting community members to come together for the cause.

Community members who have formed a coalition are most effective when they plan. Planning can be time intensive and complex, but it helps achieve goals and sustain them. A coalition’s plan provides a road map for measuring change and it can be challenging to measure something which was prevented from happening. This makes it all the more important to evaluate outcomes associated with the root causes.

To maintain long term results requires systemic change. This involves changing policies, norms, and other community influences. Sustaining these changes involves much more than funding; it is dependent upon incorporating strategies to reconfigure these influences by partnering with local stakeholders. There are coalitions that sustain these efforts after funding ends, and many prevention efforts that occur without any funding at all.

The process described above is known as the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) which was developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

The Strategic Prevention Framework answers the following simple questions

How do we begin?
Start with a deeper understanding of your community, supported by data.
Topic: Assessment

How do we get the right people involved?
Identify resources. Build relationships. Raise awareness. Develop knowledge and skills.
Topic: Capacity Building

How do we know what steps to take?
Make a plan by creating a road map for prevention.
Topic: Planning

How do we put the plan into action?
Implement your data-driven, strategic plan.
Topic: Implementation

How do we know our strategies are working?
Use evaluation to make decisions and to celebrate successes.
Topic: Evaluation

How do we make sure our efforts last?
Plan for sustainability throughout the process.
Topic: Sustainability

How do we serve all members of the community?
Be inclusive and responsive to all cultures in the community for each step of the process.
Topic: Cultural Competency

Learn more on our resources page. Click on the topic links to view related resources for that topic.

Want to get help and identify your next steps?

Contact your Regional Prevention Coordinator to talk through your interests and challenges. They will brainstorm with you, help you make connections, and much more.