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The Fundamentals of Understanding and Using Data in Prevention Part 1: What Is Data and Why We Use It

February 22 @ 11:00 am - 12:30 pm

Decades of research underscores the importance of strategically using data to guide substance use prevention efforts. Data is used in many ways, such as identifying risk and protective factors and current substance use trends, understanding the personal and societal consequences of use, assessing the impact of policy decisions on use, and informing prevention professionals about evidence-based practices. Accurate, comprehensive data allows us to understand the substance use landscape, the needs of our communities, and the most effective and efficient opportunities to use prevention resources.

This four-part webinar series will provide an overview of the importance of data in the field of substance use prevention. It will explain how data supports evidence-based research, describe how to find and understand different data sources, and provide practical tips and methods for using and sharing data. The fourth part of the series will be an interactive learning lab to practice data-related skills.


This webinar will introduce and discuss data concepts relevant to substance use prevention. Through the lens of SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), it will introduce the different ways prevention professionals can use data. The webinar will also summarize the different types of data relevant to prevention efforts and explain why data is critical to building the field’s evidence base. Additionally, it will identify the elements and explain the importance of a comprehensive needs assessment. Lastly, it will introduce the importance of effective and ethical data communication by prevention professionals.


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

  1. Explain how data supports prevention planning and programming
  2. Recognize the different types of data relevant to prevention
  3. Identify the elements of a needs assessment and their uses
  4. Understand the importance of data communication to the community and stakeholders




Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network
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