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what is prevention?

Prevention is Proactive, Not Reactive

It means different things to different people. To us, it means preventing substance misuse and abuse before it starts. Prevention initiatives seek to create environments which support healthy behaviors and build healthy community norms by using evidence-based, comprehensive strategies.

These strategies are often implemented by coalitions which have formed to address substance abuse problems within a community. Coalitions serve all kinds of communities including cities, counties, school districts, college campuses and tribal communities. In Minnesota alone, there are over 80 coalitions currently active in this work. Coalitions are sometimes funded by federal and state grants, as well as community grants, foundations, and in-kind donations.

Prevention work is done by people who are passionate about their communities

They want to make change in their community where they live, work, and/or play. The issues of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs may impact them in the work they do or the role they play, as well as affect someone who they care about.

Strong relationships and collaborations are crucial to successful prevention initiatives. People come together bringing their talents, skills, knowledge, expertise, and community connections to drive the prevention cause forward. Their unique perspectives, resources, and spheres of influence are the foundation to any great coalition.

What is a prevention coalition and who is typically involved?

A coalition is a group of people who join together for action on a common purpose. Anyone who wants to help can join a coalition.

Coalition members include parents, youth, and representatives from religious organizations, schools, law enforcement, healthcare organizations, businesses, local government, media, youth-serving organizations, civic/volunteer organizations, legal professionals, and more. Coalitions are often directed by a leadership team and are supported by a coalition coordinator for project management.

The Regional Prevention Coordinators provide you in-person support to help you start and grow prevention efforts in your community.  This includes personalized support and consultation on:

  • Where to begin
  • Getting the right people to the table
  • Creating a plan
  • Putting the work into action
  • Figuring out what’s working and what’s not

Services provided by Regional Prevention Coordinators are guided by SAMHSA (the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) principles designed to build and maintain effective prevention programming within a Strategic Prevention Framework.  Funded by the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Behavioral Health Division (BHD).

Minnesota regions
Visit your region to learn more about work being done in your area.
Regional Prevention Coordinators