What is Prevention? behavioral-health-continuum-model

Prevention is an important component of the continuum of care (pictured above), which represents a comprehensive approach to behavioral health. Each component of the continuum - promotion, prevention, treatment and recovery - presents opportunities for addressing behavioral health problems and for collaborating across sectors. Delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, these interventions are intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as underage alcohol use, prescription drug misuse and abuse and illicit drug use.

Effective PreventionBCDAC, Inc. supports and encourages the implementation of six federally-approved effective prevention strategies: alternative activities, community-based process, education, environmental, information dissemination and problem identification and referral. We believe prevention is a science, and that substance misuse and abuse can be combated by exploring risk and protective factors and implementing data-driven effective prevention strategies which can yield both individual and environmental change.

Practicing Effective Prevention

  • 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. 

(Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)