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SAMHSA News - January/February 2007, Volume 15, Number 1

Prevention Planning Tool Available
Part 2

A Closer Look

With funding from SAMHSA and other sources, Dr. Hawkins and his colleagues are now engaged in a 5-year study of CTC’s effectiveness. But communities around the country have already been using the CTC system successfully for years.

Consider Kansas, for example. The CTC system has been a “foundational piece of prevention planning” for both the state and its local communities, said Prevention Team Leader Kelly Peak of Addiction and Prevention Services in the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services in Topeka. Instead of acting on “a gut feeling,” she said, planners draw on data from their own communities and use that information to pick the prevention programs that are most appropriate.


"The addition of this tool to our prevention toolbox
will assist in the implementation of the
Strategic Prevention Framework."

—Dennis O. Romero, M.A., Acting Director   
SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Prevention   


That’s exactly what has happened in the extremely rural parts of Kansas overseen by Ms. Geist’s Regional Prevention Center, 1 of 13 charged by the state to help communities build coalitions to combat alcohol and substance abuse.

Communities administer the CTC survey to 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders once a year. Using the resulting data, coalitions decide which risk or protective factors need attention. In Ms. Geist’s community, students’ responses about their commitment to education and their parents’ attitudes prompted the coalition to launch evidence-based tutoring and parenting programs.

The community has the data to show this approach works. Ellis County has seen the percentage of students reporting they’ve had more than a sip or two of alcohol drop by 8 percent since 2002, for example. The percentage reporting that they’ve smoked a cigarette has dropped 7 percent.

The process is ongoing, said Ms. Geist. When the coalition targeted bars serving underage patrons, for instance, the young people started having parties at home. And as the use of methamphetamine has slowed, cocaine has made a comeback. As needs evolve, said Ms. Geist, so do solutions. What remains constant is the use of the CTC system.

For more information about Communities That Care and the Strategic Prevention Framework, visit

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