Substance Use Prevention Policy, Part 1: What is Policy and How Can It Help Achieve Prevention Outcomes (Webinar Recording)

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Substance Use Prevention Policy
Part 1: What is Policy and How Can It Help Achieve Prevention Outcomes
Josh Esrick, MPP, and Emily Patton, MSc, PgDip

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


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.


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


Josh Esrick, MPPJosh Esrick, MPP is the Chief of Training and Technical Assistance at Carnevale Associates, LLC. Mr. Esrick has over ten years of experience researching, writing, evaluating, and presenting on substance use prevention and other behavioral health topics. He is an expert in providing training and technical assistance (TTA) in substance use, having overseen the development of hundreds of TTA products for numerous clients, including six of SAMHSA’s ten regional Prevention Technology Transfer Centers (PTTCs), the PTTC Network Coordinating Office, the Central East Addiction Technology Transfer Center (ATTC) and Mental Health Technology Transfer Centers (MHTTC), and SAMHSA’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT). These trainings and products have covered a wide range of topics, including strategic planning, data collection and analysis, and identifying evidence-based prevention interventions for youth. In addition to TTA, Mr. Esrick has directly provided many of these services to behavioral health agencies and other entities. He has published several academic journal articles. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master of Public Policy from George Washington University.



Emily Patton, MSEmily Patton, MSc, PgDip holds a Masters of Science in Abnormal and Clinical Psychology from Swansea University and a Postgraduate Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Edinburgh. She offers significant professional experience in the fields of public policy development and analysis, criminal justice research, data collection and analysis, program development, and performance management.


September 12, 2023
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