Evidence-Based Prevention

The Challenge

When we talk about prevention, we are talking about the majority of Americans who live drug-free—and the need to expand that percentage. Here is what we know:

  • A person’s belief that using substances will cause them harm together with their belief that abstaining or reducing their use will lead to improved health is thought to predict the extent of their substance use.
  • Use that begins before the ages 25-30 can permanently change brain areas, resulting in lower intelligence, increased impulsivity, and reduced attention span.
  • Substance use is associated with health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, cancers, liver damage, kidney damage, mental disorders, prenatal defects, and others.
  • Preventing substance misuse/substance use disorders/overdoses/death/other negative consequences is well embraced. It is important to note that each misuse can lead to irreversible consequences and quickly rise to the level of a disorder.
95% The vast majority of people who do not initiate drug use by age 21 will unlikely ever do so.

What We Need

1. A robust, revitalized prevention infrastructure

A key charge of the Blueprint Committees will be to reimagine the nation’s drug prevention systemensuring it is effective, equitable, and efficient in its delivery.

2. Business and Community level involvement

We need all sectors of society to work towards stopping drug use before it starts—that means coaches, teachers, the faith community, as well as family members.