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Practicing Effective Prevention

Find information on how to plan, implement, and evaluate evidence-based interventions and learn how prevention relates to behavioral health.

Practicing effective prevention means gathering and using data to guide all prevention decisions—from identifying which substance use problems to address in a community, to choosing the most appropriate ways to address these problems, to determining whether selected interventions and strategies are making progress in meeting prevention needs.

It means working with diverse community partners to plan and deliver culturally appropriate, effective, and sustainable prevention practices that are a good fit for the populations being served.

It also means understanding and applying prevention research so that prevention efforts are informed by best practice, and shown to influence risk and protective factors associated with prioritized substance misuse and related health problems at the community, state, territory, and tribal levels.

To practice effective prevention, practitioners need to:

  • Understand substance misuse prevention within the larger context of behavioral health;
  • Apply SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), a five-step planning process framework designed to help states, tribes, jurisdictions, and communities more effectively understand and deliver effective prevention practices;
  • Incorporate epidemiology into prevention planning to help focus and refine prevention activities based on patterns of substance misuse, and related consequences; and
  • Apply prevention approaches that address those factors that contribute to or protect against identified problems, and that are a good match for the community.

Publications and Resources

Access CAPT tools and other learning resources.

Access SAMHSA Publications.

Last Updated: 09/30/2015