The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines six strategies used in primary prevention. While prevention activities are conducted in all six strategies, the SAPP uses environmental strategies most often.
Activities that provide awareness and knowledge of the nature, extent, and effects of alcohol, tobacco, and drug use, abuse, and addiction on individuals families and communities.
Examples include: social media campaigns that target underage drinking by targeting youth or parents, radio announcements, and speaking engagements.
Activities aimed at affecting critical life and social skills, such as decision making, refusal skills, critical analysis, and systematic judgement abilities.
Examples include: responsible beverage service training through TIPS (Training for Intervention Procedures); law enforcement training through Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE); educating parents about the health and safety risks of providing alcohol to you through programs such as Parents who Host Lose the Most; and educating youth on use of texting tip lines, such as Safe2Tell.
Alternatives – Activities that provide for the participation of target populations in activities that exclude alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.
Examples include: alcohol-free drop-in activities, after-prom events.
Problem Identification and Referral
Problem Identification and Referral – Activities that aim at identification of those who have indulged in illegal/age inappropriate use of tobacco or alcohol, and those individuals who have indulged in first use of illicit drugs, in order to assess if the behavior can be reversed by education to prevent further use.
Examples include: promotion of policies and procedures that align with best-practices of employee assistance programs, and educational programs on driving while under the influence/driving while intoxicated.
Community-Based Process – Activities that include organizing, planning, and enhancing the effectiveness of program, policy, and practice implementation, interagency collaboration, coalition building, and networking.
Examples include: community-based strategic planning through local coalitions, Community Prevention Specialist (CPS), and stakeholders; prevention training of coalition members and CPS through online webinars, conferences, annual meetings, and technical-assistance; community team-building through planned activities and technical-assistance when needed; and strengthening coalition capacity by increasing multi-agency coordination and collaboration ensuring that stakeholders are involved.
Activities that establish or change written and unwritten community standards, codes, and attitudes, thereby influencing incidence and prevalence of the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs used in the general population.
Examples include: implementing policies and procedures for alcohol restrictions at community events through increased use of ID scanners, breathalyzers, and other evidence-based tools; implementing policies such as social host liability; implementing drug-free policies for schools that include extracurricular activities; and providing technical-assistance to coalitions.
The Wyoming Department of Health ensures all prevention activities are evidence-based programs or best practices. Evidence-based programs are designed based on current scientific evidence and have shown to produce positive results. Prevention programs work to boost protective factors and eliminate or reduce risk factors. When research-based substance use prevention programs are properly implemented, a decrease in the use of alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs should occur.
The determination of which programs, policies, and strategies are evidence-based are guided by the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and the community guide. Wyoming also uses the Environmental Strategies Tool, which was developed by the WYSAC, under contract to the Public Health Division of the Wyoming Department of Health. This document is an inventory of environmental substance abuse prevention strategies targeting alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs assessed to determine the evidence base and effectiveness of the evidence for each identified strategy.