Prevention of Substance Abuse and Problem Gambling

EFR’s Prevention services provide information and activities to reduce substance abuse and problem gambling. EFR Prevention Specialists work with youth and adults throughout the community to promote healthy lifestyles and positive choices, working closely with communities to identify issues and ways to address them, by collaboratively developing strategies to create safe and healthy environments.

Impact

Substance abuse and violence are often the cause of, or are associated with, negative experiences in the lives of many youth, families, schools, and communities. Abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs can cause tremendous strain and stress on families, contribute to poor academic and athletic performances, cause physical and medical problems in individuals, and lead to crime and diminished productivity in communities and workplaces. In addition to the needless loss of life that occurs through alcohol poisoning, drug overdoses, vehicle crashes, and violence, there are many devastating, but less publicized side effects of substance abuse. Whether or not a person has an addiction to alcohol or other drugs, significant legal and personal problems often result from the actions of intoxicated people.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Research and experience show that the time, energy, and resources spent dealing with the costs and negative consequences of substance abuse can be significantly reduced with increased investments in prevention efforts. A comprehensive prevention strategy can decrease impacts on individuals and communities as well as reduce the cost of resources for law enforcement, incarceration, medical costs, treatment costs, property damage, and lost work associated with substance use.

How does prevention work?

EFR's comprehensive prevention programming uses six strategies that are recognized by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) as best practices in the prevention field. These strategies are Information Dissemination, Education, Environmental/Social Policy, Alternatives, Community-Based Process, and Problem Identification and Referral.

Effectiveness

Positive messages delivered through education can combat poor academic performance, family history, economic deprivation, and exposure to favorable attitudes about substance use. Individuals develop strong skills in communication and anger management are more apt to remain in control of their emotions, thereby reducing the negative effects of violence in their lives.

Cost-benefit analysis

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) has released a cost-benefit analysis report.

Drug-free workplace supervisor training

Sessions provide information regarding the prevalence of drug and alcohol abuse, the related cost to employers, what constitutes reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol abuse, the referral of employees who abuse alcohol or other drugs to the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), and more.