What Does & Does Not Work in Prevention

Prevention Spotlight:

What Does & Does Not Work in Prevention

May 17, 2023


Webinar Description

Many trainings and resources focus on what research has shown to be effective to prevent substance use. We also know through research what is NOT effective and sometimes harmful in preventing substance use. Yet communities across the nation continue to implement these ineffective and sometimes counterproductive strategies. The focus of this webinar will be on identifying these ineffective approaches and alternative evidence-based strategies to replace these ineffective strategies. We will also spend time discussing strategies prevention professionals can use to address the resistance often expressed by individuals and organizations reluctant to change long-standing, well-liked, but ineffective prevention practices.



In this webinar, participants will:

  • Identify interventions that have been shown through research to not be effective in preventing substance use.
  • Identify evidence-based interventions that can be used as effective alternatives to the ineffective strategies.
  • Describe strategies to address resistance to discontinuing ineffective prevention strategies.


Webinar Recording and Slides


Additional Resources



Alicia Sparks, PhD, MPH, is the Chair of the U.S. Alcohol Policy Alliance and a Senior Principal at Synergy Enterprises, where she serves as the Project Director for NIAAA’s APIS contract, as well as SAMHSA’s STOP Act contract. Dr. Sparks served as Project Director for CDC’s alcohol advertising monitoring project, for which she directed a team of researchers in conducting analyses of Nielsen data to determine alcohol industry compliance with self-governed rules on advertising alcohol to youth audiences. She has more than 12 years of experience in alcohol policy research, including designing, implementing, and evaluating studies, programs, and policies. Dr. Sparks has led the development of numerous publications on alcohol policy, including the 2022 Implementing Community-Level Policies to Prevent Alcohol Misuse evidence-based resource guide and the 2016 Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health. She has published more than 20 peer-reviewed manuscripts and has presented at more than a dozen conferences. She is co-chair of the Alcohol Policy conference series and serves on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Global Alcohol Policy Conference.


Rick Collins is a Cincinnati, OH native who has resided in Hawai‘i since 2003. He specializes in public health policy on alcohol and other drugs. He is the co-founder of the Hawai‘i Alcohol Policy Alliance and the Maui Coalition for Drug-Free Youth, and he currently serves as Coalition Director for three community coalitions across Hawai‘i. His experience includes building new community coalitions, community organizing, and building coalition capacity to implement community-level policy strategies that reduce the harms of substance use. Rick currently serves as a board member for the US Alcohol Policy Alliance. He is a Certified Prevention Specialist and holds an MS in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University



Contact Kathy Gardner ([email protected]) if you have additional questions about the content related to this webinar.

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