PTTC Post Article - May 2024

Everyday Prevention for Every Day

At the age of seven, I embarked on my piano journey with weekly lessons. My piano instructor emphasized the importance of consistent practice, stressing that it was the key to mastering the instrument. She explained that without daily practice, I wouldn't develop a seamless connection with the piano, hindering my progress. Each missed practice session meant starting anew, unable to build upon the earlier lesson's foundation. This principle extends beyond music; it applies to any skill, habit, or positive behavior we look to cultivate.

National Prevention Week Is Not Just a Week

Similarly, National Prevention Week (NPW), observed annually during the second week of May, serves as a pivotal reminder of the importance of ongoing prevention efforts. This year's official celebration falls on May 12-18, 2024. NPW isn't merely a week-long event; it symbolizes the beginning of a sustained commitment to prevention efforts throughout the year. It highlights the collective efforts of communities and organizations nationwide dedicated to preventing substance misuse and promoting mental well-being.

To support these endeavors, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has launched an ongoing virtual series to amplify prevention initiatives and provide a platform for sharing ideas and resources. Additionally, SAMHSA offers a comprehensive NPW Toolkit designed to aid organizations and communities in their prevention endeavors. By spotlighting prevention initiatives and fostering social innovation, this toolkit empowers communities and youth to address their unique needs.

Prevention isn't confined to a single week; it's a year-round endeavor. Individuals and organizations can contribute by sharing their prevention stories on social media using the hashtag #MyPreventionStory. Furthermore, SAMHSA's Prevention Resources provide valuable data and information to support ongoing prevention efforts and integrate national best practices into local initiatives.

In essence, prevention is not a one-time event, but a daily practice woven into the fabric of our communities. By embracing this ethos and using available resources, we can foster healthier, safer environments for ourselves and future generations.

Connecting Substance Use and Misuse Prevention with Mental Health Awareness Month

To enhance and sustain year-round prevention efforts, it's beneficial to connect prevention initiatives with other awareness and health promotion events. May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, a period dedicated to reducing stigma surrounding behavioral health issues and highlighting the interconnectedness of mental illness and substance use disorders across all sides of society. The National Council for Mental Well-Being offers a wealth of resources, including publications, toolkits, and original content, aimed at spotlighting the significance of mental health.

Prevention Practice Resources

Just as I supplemented my weekly piano lessons with books and resources, organizations and individuals committed to prevention can access a range of resources to support their efforts comprehensively.

Normalizing Prevention Principles and Practices

Applied Prevention Science International (APSI) has laid out a roadmap for integrating prevention into everyday life in their article Normalization of Prevention Principles and Practices to Reduce Substance Use Disorders (APSI, 2023). They advocate for acknowledging prevention professionals as integral parts of public health and educational teams, establishing clear guidelines for their roles, and ensuring sufficient funding for evidence-based prevention programs. APSI emphasizes the importance of collaboration among stakeholders to promote the understanding, effectiveness, and achievability of prevention efforts.

Framework for Implementation and Delivery of Effective Prevention

The Prevention Technology Transfer Centers (PTTC) Network plays a crucial role in guiding prevention professionals and organizations to improve the implementation and delivery of substance use prevention interventions. Through ten regional centers, the PTTC offers resources, training, and technical assistance to enhance the quality and efficacy of prevention efforts nationwide.

The PTTC provides resources and training on the SAMHSA Core Competencies that outlines the core competencies and knowledge, skills, and abilities prevention professionals must utilize to implement evidence-based, effective interventions. The competencies offer professional direction to the prevention field, affecting staff development and career ladders and pipelines, and providing guidance for training programs and service delivery qualification.

Prevention Lists

The International Society of Substance Use Professionals Prevention Lists curates links to evidence-based prevention program databases, facilitating access to effective prevention interventions for those seeking information and resources.

Rethinking Substance Use Prevention

In January of 2022, the Partnership to End Addiction released a groundbreaking report, Rethinking Substance Use Prevention: An Earlier and Broader Approach. The report advocates for policymakers, healthcare providers, educators, and researchers to address the comprehensive needs of children by supporting families and communities at every stage of development. It calls for integrating insights from early childhood development and healthy youth development into substance use prevention, breaking down silos between related fields, and reallocating resources to improve child mental health, education, and socio-economic stability. The report concludes with recommendations for future research to advance prevention efforts and outcomes.

By aligning substance use prevention with mental health awareness initiatives and adopting a comprehensive approach, we can foster healthier communities and mitigate the impact of substance misuse on individuals and society as a whole.


Applied Prevention Science International Organization. (2023). Normalization of Prevention Principles and Practices to Reduce Substance Use Disorders. Applied Prevention Science International Organization.

Partnership to End Addiction. (2022). Rethinking Substance Use Prevention-An Earlier and Broader Approach. Partnership to End Addiction.

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