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"Prevention activities work to educate and support individuals and communities to prevent the use and misuse of drugs and the development of substance use disorders. Substance use and mental disorders can make daily activities difficult and impair a person’s ability to work, interact with family, and fulfill other major life functions. Mental and substance use disorders are among the top conditions that cause disability in the United States. Preventing mental and/or substance use disorders or co-occurring disorders and related problems is critical to behavioral and physical health." - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Serivces Administration


Prevention efforts are divided into three categories:

  • Universal preventive interventions reach an entire population to prevent substance use disorders.

  • Selective preventive interventions target subgroups of the population that are at risk for substance use disorders.

  • Indicated preventive interventions are aimed at individuals who are exhibiting early signs of having a substance use disorder though they have not been diagnosed.


Increase access to naloxone within the rural service area and provide training on overdose prevention and naloxone administration to ensure that individuals likely to respond to an overdose can take the appropriate steps to reverse an overdose. 

Naloxone is a medicine that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist. This means that it attaches to opioid receptors and reverses and blocks the effects of other opioids. Naloxone can quickly restore normal breathing to a person if their breathing has slowed or stopped because of an opioid overdose.

Naloxone should be given to any person who shows signs of an opioid overdose or when an overdose is suspected. Naloxone can be given as a nasal spray or it can be injected into the muscle, under the skin, or into the veins.

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Increase the number of evidence-based, year-round drug take-back programs 

Prescription drug takeback programs offer a mechanism for consumers to safely and legally return unused drugs to the proper authorities.

While takeback programs can be structured in several different ways, the four most common types are pharmacy-based permanent collections, law-enforcement-based permanent collections, event-style programs in the community, and mail-back programs.

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 Increase and support the use of school- and community-based prevention programs that are evidence-based to prevent misuse of opioids and other substances.

The ability to reach young persons during early elementary ages, before they begin using substances, and throughout adolescence makes the school environment well-suited for prevention programming. School-based substance use prevention programs that focus on broad-based skill building (e.g., psychosocial development, life-skills development, and social-emotional learning and connectedness) have greater promise than substance-specific programs. In addition, multifaceted programs that incorporate aspects of individual, school, and family interventions have demonstrated effectiveness at reducing or preventing youth substance use. . . .Read More

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