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Substance Use Prevention Policy Part 1: What is Policy and How Can It Help Achieve Prevention Outcomes

September 12, 2023 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Prevention professionals can choose from many types of strategies and interventions available to help address substance use issues. Among these are efforts to support and implement policies designed to reduce the likelihood of substance use. Policies can take many different forms, from federal laws to local regulations and ordinances. All of them, however, seek to reduce community and societal risk factors for substance use and strengthen protective factors. Implementing appropriate policies can have many strengths, including being a means to address inequities and reduce health disparities. However, they can also come with several drawbacks compared to other types of prevention interventions. As such, they should be implemented as part of a comprehensive approach to prevention. Part one of this two-part webinar series will describe the importance of policy change for advancing substance use prevention outcomes. While part two of the series will review the steps prevention professionals can take to support and improve policy change.


This webinar will summarize the importance of policy change as a strategy for prevention professionals. It will discuss why and how policy changes can have significant impacts on substance use prevention goals, including addressing inequities, and reducing health disparities. The webinar will describe the different types of policy options that exist and how they align with substance use risk and protective factors, including the social determinants of health. It will also discuss the strengths and challenges that policy change efforts can have compared to other prevention interventions and why they should be part of a comprehensive approach to prevention. As part of this discussion, the webinar will also provide an example of such an approach.


By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. Recognize why policy change can be an important goal in prevention.
  2. Describe the types and objectives of substance use prevention policies.
  3. Identify the strengths and drawbacks of using policies as a type of prevention intervention.
  4. Explain how policy change can be part of a comprehensive approach to prevention.




Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network
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