One of the top preventable health issues facing our youth today is the use and abuse of mind-altering substances. The overall goal of substance abuse prevention and intervention is to promote healthy brain, body and social development by preventing the onset of illegal substance use and limiting the problematic behaviors associated with substance abuse.
Utah Substance Abuse Prevention Guiding Principles are criteria established by the Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to be used in selecting or developing substance abuse prevention programming. Utah promotes proactive, evidence-based prevention education which is designed to eliminate any illegal use of controlled substances.
There is a multitude of effective substance abuse prevention interventions that may have different areas of focus and can be implemented in a variety of settings. Interventions can involve the family, school, and community and may provide substance abuse prevention for an individual or a population of youth by focusing on environmental and community factors and policies, developmental factors, or skill development. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has identified 16 key principles for prevention programs based on risk and protective factors, the type of program, and the delivery of the program.
Structure, content, and delivery are the core elements of effective research-based programs that NIDA suggests can help to address the key principles, and should be considered when determining what kind of prevention program is best for individuals and your community.
Prevention programs have proven to be effective, but families and influential adults continue to play the most important role in determining how youth handle the lure of alcohol, cigarettes, misuse of prescription drugs, and illegal drugs. More recent studies have shown that parents and guardians (and adults influential in a youth’s life) who speak to their children about the issues and have dinner with them on a regular basis, have children with a lower rate of use and abuse. Prevention programs can help to support family/mentoring relationships by providing parenting/mentoring skills and communication strategies.
Intervening early—before high school—is critical. The data suggest that patterns of substance abuse become worse in the high school years. Individuals who begin using alcohol or tobacco when they are very young are more likely to abuse them later in life, when it becomes much more difficult to quit.
Identifies youth violence, delinquency, and drug prevention and intervention programs that meet a strict scientific standard of program effectiveness.
National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
A searchable database of more than 330 interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders. The database was developed to assist people, agencies, and organizations identify and implement evidence-based programs and practices in their communities.
Program Directory Search
Describes evidence-based programs designed to prevent and/or reduce delinquency or other behavioral issues among youth.
Model Programs Guide
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
A searchable database of more than 200 evidence-based programs that address the entire continuum of youth services, from prevention through sanctions to reentry. Programs are categorized into exemplary, effective, and promising, based on a set of methodological criteria and strength of the findings.
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
A federal website that uses rigorous research to determine what works in criminal justice, juvenile justice, and crime victim services. Many programs listed address behavioral health issues. This resource aims to assist in practical decision making and program implementation by gathering information on specific justice-related programs and reviewing the existing evaluation research against standard criteria.
What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
Institute of Education Sciences (IES)
Presents findings of a systematic review process designed to identify scientific evidence of what works in education. Findings are presented to the public through a variety of products including practice guides, online reports and reviews, and a studies database.
Title 51-9-405: Substance Abuse Prevention Account Established, Funding, Uses
Utah State Legislature
The Board adopted rules providing for instruction on the harmful effects of controlled substances in which provides for funds from the Substance Abuse Prevention Account to be allocated to the Utah State Board of Education for:substance abuse prevention and education; substance abuse prevention training for teachers and administrators; and
R277-460-2: Distribution of Substance Abuse Prevention Account, Definitions
Utah Office of Administrative Rules
School district, charter school or consortia programs to supplement, not supplant, existing local prevention efforts in cooperation with local substance abuse authorities.
These reports summarize the findings from the Utah Prevention Needs Assessment Survey that is conducted as part of the Student Health and Risk Prevention (SHARP) Statewide Survey. The survey is administered every two years, to students in grades 6, 8, 10, and 12 in most public and certain charter school districts across Utah. The survey was designed to assess adolescent substance use, anti-social behavior, and the risk and protective factors that predict these adolescent problem behaviors.
Get the Facts about Drugs: Just Think Twice
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Provides the latest news, specific drug information, true stories and facts and stats.
A nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug free.
National Institutes of Health (NIH):
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Mission is to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for Teens
Gives the latest information on how drugs affect the brain and body.
A media and education campaign funded by the Utah Legislature and designed to prevent and reduce underage drinking in Utah by providing parents and guardians with information about the harmful effects of alcohol on the developing teen brain, along with proven skills for preventing underage alcohol use.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Utah Department of Human Services