Role of Community Prevention Funding
The Wyoming Department of Health funds a community prevention grant program through a combined effort of the Substance Use and Tobacco Prevention Program and the Injury and Violence Prevention Program. Each County that receives community prevention funding has a Community Prevention Specialist (CPS) who works with local coalitions to strengthen the prevention efforts in their community. Their focus areas include alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and suicide prevention.
At both state and local levels, Wyoming employs a data-driven decision-making process. The ultimate goal is to create community-level change across Wyoming. Each CPS is taked with collaborating with their local prevention coalitions and completing a comprehensive needs assessment that addresses all relevant data covering local demographics, socioeconomic conditions, community norms, and other risk/protective factors. The results of this assessment are used to create and implement local strategic plans that focus on policy changes, systems transformation, and mental health information dissemination.
What is Prevention?
measures such as altering risky behaviors (such as tobacco use), banning substances known to be associated with a disease or health condition, limiting the development of problems associated with substance use or abuse, and reducing the risk of developing a behavioral health problem. Prevention efforts help Wyoming avoid the dangers of using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs as well as prevent suicide and other intentional self-harming behaviors.
The CPG’s approach to prevention is to gather and use data to guide prevention decisions specific to community needs. This means working with diverse community partners to choose culturally appropriate, effective, sustainable, evidence-based strategies according to the needs of the community, and to work with individuals who are passionate and knowledgeable about both their communities and prevention to reduce the risk of suicide, tobacco, alcohol and other drug-related problems throughout Wyoming.
Prevention Vs. Treatment
Prevention is an important part of the behavioral health continuum of care model, a comprehensive approach to behavioral health that recognizes multiple opportunities for addressing behavioral health problems and disorders. Each component presents opportunities for addressing behavioral health problems and for collaborating across sectors. Based on the Mental Health Intervention Spectrum, first introduced in a 1994 Institute of Medicine report, the model includes the following components:
- Promotion – Strategies designed to create environments and conditions that support behavioral health and the ability for individuals to withstand challenges. Promotion strategies also reinforce the entire continuum of behavioral health services.
- Prevention – Delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, these interventions are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as underage alcohol use.
- Treatment – These services are for people diagnosed with a substance use or other behavioral health disorder.
- Recovery – These services support individuals’ abilities to live productive lives in the community and can often help with abstinence.
The CPG Program works in both the Promotion and Prevention realms.
Wyoming Alcohol Prevention Efforts Show Results
Prevention efforts in Wyoming are contributing to decreasing underage alcohol use. In addition to the Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant and state funds, Wyoming has received additional funding opportunities that increased prevention efforts across Wyoming.
- 2001 – State Incentive Grant (SIG)
- 2005 – Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG)
- 2012 – Partnerships for Success II (PFS II)
- 2015 – Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success (SPF PFS 2015)
- 2015 – Wyoming Grant to Prevent Prescription Drug/Opioid Overdose-Related Deaths (PDO)
- 2020 – Strategic Prevention Framework Partnership for Success (SPF PFS 2020)
- 2021 – Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) Supplemental Funding
Data obtained from the Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment from 2001 through 2020 shows a decline in self-reported underage current drinking and binge drinking by Wyoming High Schoolers. 1
Similar positive trends can be seen for risk factors related to underage alcohol use including the perception of harm and ease of access to alcohol. The percent of high schoolers who reported it was very easy or sort of easy to access alcohol decreased from 79% in 2001 to 63% in 2020; a 20% decrease. The majority of high schoolers have a strong perception of harm regarding alcohol; 70% reported there is moderate or great risk of harm in someone having five or more drinks of alcohol once or twice a week. 1
1. Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center (WYSAC). 2020. Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment. Available at pnasurvey.org
Value of Prevention
Prevention doesn’t only happen on an individual level, it also focuses on creating environments that support healthy behavior. The Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center at the University of Wyoming conducted a Value of Prevention Study on the potential cost savings from delaying youth alcohol use in Wyoming.
- Alcohol use disorders are one of the most common use disorders in the United States.
- In 2010, the societal cost of alcohol use disorders to Wyoming was approximately $843 million.
- It is estimated that the potential cost savings realized by prevention of a single alcohol use disorder to be $313,700.
Since 2001, Wyoming communities have pursued a comprehensive approach to preventing underage drinking using mostly evidence-based strategies that impact the entire population.
- In 2014, we estimate 389 cases of future alcohol use disorders were avoided due to prevention efforts in Wyoming communities and at the national level
- The potential cost savings of delaying the onset of alcohol use for the 2014 senior high school class is approximately $122 million.
For more information view the following documents.
Risk and Protective Factors
- Protective Factor: a characteristic at the biological, psychological, family, or community (including peers and culture) level that is associated with a lower likelihood of problem outcomes or that reduces the negative impact of a risk factor on problem outcomes. Protective factors might include: belief in a moral order, religion, family, social skills, and community connectedness.
- Risk Factor: a characteristic that is biological, psychological, family, community, or cultural level that precedes and is associated with a higher likelihood of problem outcome. Risk factors might include: academic failure, perceived risk of substance use, rebelliousness, parents attitude favors substance use, family conflict, friends use of substances, and sensation seeking.
Through the Wyoming Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA), the Wyoming Department of Health measures a wide variety of attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions that have been shown to be related to alcohol, tobacco, and drug use along with violent and problem behaviors. Explore the Prevention Needs Assessment by Topic, including both protective factors and risk factors, here.
Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)
The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) is a planning process for preventing substance use and misuse developed by SAMHSA. The SAPP uses SPF model to fund evidence-based prevention activities on both a statewide and community level.
All funded communities implement the SPF public health model in their prevention efforts. The model assists community coalitions in engaging in data-driven strategic planning. This comprehensive and integrated approach is achieved through partnerships with law enforcement, community resource centers, and other valuable stakeholders.
The five steps and two guiding principles of the SPF offer a comprehensive process for addressing the substance misuse and related behavioral health problems facing communities.
Step 1: Assess Needs – Identify pressing substance use and related problems and their contributing factors, and assess community resources and readiness to address these factors, and assess community resources and readiness to address these factors.
Step 2: Build Capacity – Identify resources and build readiness to address substance use and misuse.
Step 3: Plan – Form a plan for addressing priority problems and achieving prevention goals.
Step 4: Implement – Deliver evidence-based interventions.
Step 5: Evaluate – Quantify the challenges and successes of implementing a prevention program.
The framework is guided by the following principles:
Cultural Competence – The ability to interact effectively with people of different cultures to ensure the needs of all community members are addressed.
Sustainability – Sustain prevention outcomes by building stakeholder support for your program, showing and sharing results, and obtaining steady funding.
Each County that receives community prevention funding has a Community Prevention Specialist (CPS) who works with local coalitions to strengthen the prevention efforts in their community.