Prevention Efforts

Prevention efforts strive to reduce individual, family, and environmental risk factors, increase resiliency and protective factors, and achieve individual and community wellness through a collaborative approach. These efforts are proactive, evidence-based, and outcomes are measurable.

Community Prevention Programs & Initiatives

Counter Tools / Merchant Education is an environmental strategy designed to educate tobacco retailers about the law and the harmful effects of selling tobacco products to underage youth.

At least every two years, prevention specialists and/or coalition members visit 100% of tobacco retailers in the NRV. During the visit, a store audit is completed, which verifies the store’s location and provides information about tobacco products, pricing, placement, and promotions. Materials, such as “We Card” signs are provided at no cost to the retailer, as is education about the consequences of underage sales. Retailers are asked to sign a pledge stating they will check the ID of anyone appearing to be under the age of 27 who is purchasing tobacco.

Counter Tools / Merchant Education is a public health approach for prevention, not enforcement; however, retailers who are found to be in violation during compliance checks by law enforcement are referred for annual merchant education visits.

Opioid & Heroin Prevention:

  •  REVIVE! is the Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education (OONE) program for the Commonwealth of Virginia. REVIVE! provides training to professionals, stakeholders, and others on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone (Narcan®). REVIVE! is a collaborative effort led by the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) working alongside the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia Department of Health Professionals, recovery community organizations such as the McShin Foundation, OneCare of Southwest Virginia, the Substance Abuse and Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia (SAARA), and other stakeholders.

  • “The Face of Addiction is Mine” is a public awareness campaign focused on the dangers of prescription drug misuse and heroin overdose.

Facebook: @TheFaceofAddictionisMine

Twitter: @FaceAddiction

Instagram: @TheFaceofAddictionisMine

Suicide Prevention & Mental Health:

  • Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) is a two-day interactive workshop in suicide first aid. ASIST teaches participants to recognize when someone may have thoughts of suicide and work with them to create a plan that will support their immediate safety. Although ASIST is widely used by healthcare providers, participants don’t need any formal training to attend the workshop—anyone 16 or older can learn and use the ASIST model.

        For more information about ASIST, visit: www.livingworks.net

  •  Lock & Talk Virginia is an evidence-based suicide prevention initiative that involves limiting access to lethal means for a person in crisis and talking about the problem of suicide to help save lives and reduce stigma. Promoting safe and responsible care of lethal means while encouraging community conversations around mental wellness are vital to Lock and Talk’s mission of preventing suicides and promoting wellness.

For more information about Lock and Talk, visit: http://www.lockandtalk.org/

ACEs Education helps raise awareness on how Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) impact health and social-emotional wellbeing throughout the lifespan.  ACEs, including traumatic events and experiences that occur early in life, can interfere with healthy brain development and can negatively affect a person’s ability to lead a healthy, successful lifestyle and engage in positive relationships with others.

ACEs are often passed from one generation to the next.  Raising awareness of the effects of ACEs can help break the cycle of transgenerational trauma by developing assets that provide resilience to individuals and families.

For more information on ACEs and Resilience, visit:

http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/resilience.aspx

Parenting Programs:

  • Active Parenting of Teens: Families in Action is identified as an effective program on SAMHSA’s National Registry of Effective Prevention Programs. Parents and youth (ages 12-16) meet separately for approximately two hours, and then together as a group for one-half hour to practice learned skills. Parent sessions include viewing and discussing videos (which portray negative and positive interactions with youth), participating in skill-building activities (such as setting limits and encouraging good behavior), and provision of group support. Youth sessions consist of game-like learning activities, discussions, and skill-building activities on topics such as communication, assertiveness and drug resistance skills, setting goals, dealing with stress, handling peer pressure, and following rules. Family sessions follow the individual sessions and include parent-youth discussions, games, projects, skill-building practice, and role plays.

  • Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is a nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program for families with children ages 6-12. SFP is an evidence-based family skills training program found to significantly reduce problem behaviors, delinquency, and alcohol and drug abuse in children and to improve social skills and school performance. Child maltreatment also decreases as parents strengthen bonds with their children and learn more effective parenting skills. 

School-Based Prevention Programs

Through the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth we are able to provide several classroom-based, substance abuse prevention programs including:

Project Alert – a substance abuse prevention program that’s proven to reduce the experimental and continued use of drugs. Through a series of comprehensive lessons, Project ALERT motivates students against drug use, cultivates new non-use attitudes and beliefs, and equips students with skills and strategies they’ll use to resist drugs.

For more information and resources, visit:  https://www.projectalert.com

Project Toward No Drug Abuse (TND) – an effective, interactive substance abuse prevention program implemented with middle and high school students.  This program focuses on three factors that predict tobacco, alcohol and other drug use, violence-related behaviors and other problems among youth, including:  motivation factors (i.e. students’ attitudes, beliefs, expectations and desires regarding drug use; skills (social, self-control and coping skills) and decision making (i.e. how to make decisions that lead to health-promoting behaviors).

For more information and resources, visit: http://tnd.usc.edu/

Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) – a substance abuse prevention program, implemented in middle school classroom settings.  This program teaches students about the effects of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and prescription drug abuse on their developing body and brain.  Students explore how goals, peers, media, and family influence their decisions and apply problem-solving skills to identify healthy alternatives to drugs.

For more information and resources visit: https://toogoodprograms.org/collections/too-good-for-drugs

IN THE NEWS: Giles County School teaches students about drug prevention

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is a long-term, system-wide program for change involving program components at four levels:  school-level components, individual level components, classroom level components, community level components.

The After-School Program (ASP) is implemented at Narrows Elementary/Middle School and offers students from kindergarten through grade 5 extra help with school and homework assignments.  The program runs from September through April (three days per week).  ASP includes a healthy snack, organized recreational time, healthy living lessons, and homework time. Prevention Specialists work with students in groups and individually on daily homework, good citizenship, and positive deeds and actions.