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Why Prevention Works

The goal of our prevention efforts is to help youth avoid risky behaviors

About Primary Prevention

Primary prevention includes strategies, programs and initiatives that reduce adverse consequences resulting from Substance Use Disorder (SUD). The goal of primary prevention is to promote safe and healthy behaviors and environments for individuals, families and communities. Success is more likely when action is based on sound procedures, the best available information, and a long-range view.  

If SUD was a river, "prevention" would be the people upstream putting life jackets on kids, or building fences so they don't fall in. "Downstream" is intervention--pulling out the kids who have already fallen in. We want to get upstream and prevent problems before they start.


National Prevention Framework

Prevention is a continuum. It ranges from deterring SUD and behaviors that foster it to slowing the onset and severity of SUD when it happens. 

Prevention is prevention is prevention. The methods of prevention are the same for many diseases, whether the aim is to prevent cancer or reduce the effects of substance use. In both cases, prevention strategies take aim at how people think, feel, and act by focusing messages and activities on areas of influence such as the individual, family, or community. 

Successful prevention decreases risk factors and enhances protective factors

Prevention strategies should use proven practices within systems that work. Research and experience have produced highly effective prevention programs to reduce risk factors and promote protective factors.

Get Involved

 Systems of prevention services work better than isolated efforts. The best prevention results come from partnerships. Without teamwork, even the most determined prevention efforts can fall short of their goals.  

UP Coalition Network is committed to addressing youth-focused prevention through our Communities That Care (CTC) coalitions--find the one in your county!

The Prevention Paradox


Focus On Prevention (pdf)