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Prevention

MAPPA believes that it is important for our legislative leaders to learn more about the field of
alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention. The following bulleted points present a basic
overview of the current state of prevention:

  • Prevention is the creation of conditions, opportunities and experiences that encourage
    and develop healthy people.  It aims to forestall undesirable behavior or render it
    impossible rather than taking corrective action later.   Alcohol, tobacco, and other drug
    (ATOD) prevention works to create conditions that prevent, reduce, and delay the use of
    alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by  youth.  Based on more than twenty years of
    research, a science of ATOD prevention has now emerged. Science-based prevention is
    grounded in a clear theoretical foundation that has been carefully implemented and
    evaluated.

  • Effective prevention strategies focus on both the individual and the environment.  
    Individually oriented strategies seek to socialize, guide, or instruct children in ways that
    increase their resistance to health risks.   Environmental strategies strive to support or
    thwart the norms,availability, and regulations concerning ATOD use in the shared
    environment.

  • Prevention professionals work in every county in Maryland. Each county has a prevention
    program based in the county health department,executive's office, or a non-profit
    organization. Most often, prevention coordinators are the lead workers in county
    prevention programs. Youth, parents, law enforcement, the schools, other agencies, the
    faith community, and businesses are essential partners with prevention professionals in
    implementing comprehensive strategies to prevent, reduce, and delay use of alcohol,
    tobacco, and other drugs. Prevention professionals work to engage the community in
    identifying the problems of youth substance abuse and to provide them with the skills,
    resources and assistance necessary for them to address the problems successfully.

  • Effective prevention programs are cost-effective. “For every dollar spent on drug use
    prevention, communities can save 4 to 5 dollars in costs for drug abuse treatment and
    counseling.” (Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents, National Institute
    on Drug Abuse, 1999).

To learn how to tell Congress to keep prevention as part of health care reform, click here.
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for $35 to the address below.

MAPPA - Maryland Association of
Prevention Professionals and
Advocates
P. O. Box 609
Linkwood, Maryland
21835-0609
mdamericorpsfellow@yahoo.com