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Prevention of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

Strategic Prevention Framework

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) uses a five-step process known to promote youth development, reduce risk-taking behaviors, build assets and resilience, and prevent problem behaviors across the life span. The SPF is built on a community-based risk and protective factors approach to prevention and a series of guiding principles that can be utilized at the federal, State/tribal and community levels.

The idea behind SPF is to use the findings from public health research along with evidence-based prevention programs to build capacity within States/Tribes/Territories and the prevention field. This in turn will promote resilience and decrease risk factors in individuals, families, and communities.

The Strategic Prevention Framework Steps require States, Territories, federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations, and communities to systematically:

  • Assess their prevention needs based on epidemiological data,
  • Build their prevention capacity,
  • Develop a strategic plan,
  • Implement effective community prevention programs, policies and practices, and
  • Evaluate their efforts for outcomes.

Throughout all five steps, implementers of the SPF must address issues of sustainability and cultural competence.

Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG)

The Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) program is one of SAMHSA's infrastructure grant programs. SAMHSA's infrastructure grants support an array of activities to help grantees build a solid foundation for delivering and sustaining effective substance abuse and/or mental health services. The SPF SIGs, in particular, provide funding to States, Territories, and federally recognized Tribes and Tribal organizations to implement SAMHSA's Strategic Prevention Framework in order to:

  • prevent the onset and reduce the progression of substance abuse, including childhood and underage drinking,
  • reduce substance abuse-related problems in communities, and;
  • build prevention capacity and infrastructure at the State/Tribal/Territory and community levels.

SAMHSA has funded 49 States, 19 tribes/tribal organizations, 8 Territories and the District of Columbia. SPF SIG Grantees [PDF, 46KB]



Partnerships for Success: State and Community Prevention Performance Grants

This program is designed to help States and U.S. territories reduce State-wide substance abuse rates by addressing gaps in their current prevention services and increasing their ability to reach out to specific populations or geographic areas with serious, emerging substance abuse problems. The grants aim to achieve a quantifiable decline in State-wide substance abuse rates by incorporating a strong incentive to grantees that have met or exceeded their prevention performance targets. The grants build on the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), which requires that grantees utilize a five-step, data-driven planning model to ensure that program services address areas of greatest need. The key to the SPF program is that it offers monetary incentives in the form of program expansion supplements to the grantees that succeed in achieving critical performance outcomes by the end of the third year of the five-year program.

The five grantees are:

  1. Colorado Prevention Partnership for Success (FY 2009)
  2. Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (FY 2009)
  3. Florida Executive Office of the Governor (FY 2010)
  4. Illinois Partnerships for Success (FY 2009)
  5. Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services (FY 2009)


Identifying and Selecting Evidence-Based Interventions: Revised Guidance Document for the SPF State Incentive Grant Program
This document assists State and community planners in applying the SAMHSA SPF to identify and select evidence-based interventions that address local needs and reduce substance abuse problems.

For more information on the Strategic Prevention Framework, please visit  


Last updated:11/4/2011

Did You Know

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If effective prevention programs were implemented nationwide, substance abuse initiation would decline for 1.5 million youth and be delayed for 2 years on average, reducing subsequent problems later in life.

SOURCE: Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars & Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis

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