Interagency Coordinating Council for State Prevention Programs
P.O. Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604
Elements of Effective Prevention
The ICC Work Group recommendations were determined within the framework of known effective prevention strategies. The most current theory, research and data related to youth substance abuse prevention indicate that harm can be reduced and prevented at the population level.
- Effective prevention incorporates strategies that are evidence-based, grounded in current theory and data, and developmentally appropriate for the population served.
- Effective prevention takes into account the complex environment within which youth live, work and play (family, peer, institutional, community and cultural influences on behavior)
- Effective prevention must be collaborative, involving all members of the community (family, schools, campuses, law enforcement, hospitality industry, etc.)
- Effective prevention must be comprehensive: no one strategy alone will make a substantive impact. Strategies should target two levels of influence:
- Individual (education, early intervention, treatment)
- Environmental (restricting access, limiting marketing, creating and enforcing community & state laws and policies)
Environmental strategies were the specific focus of the ICC work group. These are key in any effective plan to change the culture of alcohol associated with the persistent substance abuse-related problems faced by Montana youth. Too often adults (including those who serve alcohol) are complacent about youth alcohol use. Research indicates that limiting youth access to alcohol via state policy will serve a protective function, thus enhancing existing efforts by communities, schools, campuses and other institutions.