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
Material on this website is in the public domain. We encourage you to download, print and use the documents in your prevention
work. To open some the of documents, you will need to have
Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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