Programs + Resources

Community

Our environmental youth substance abuse prevention strategies seek to identify and reduce the conditions in a community that increase the risk of youth substance abuse and we help identify and promote those conditions that reduce the risk of abuse.

How healthy is your community environment? 

  • When youth walk to school what kinds of businesses do they pass?
  • Are there stores that sell products that are designed to promote health and well-being? Or do they pass the neighborhood liquor store or marijuana retailer on their way to school?
  • Are there sidewalks on the route to school, or afterschool youth center, or park?
  • Is the park a place that you think is safe for youth to use?

Neighborhood conditions affect all of us. We focus on prevention strategies to change the conditions in communities that increase the risk of youth substance abuse.

Our Approach

We approach these issues as public health problems and identify things in the larger community environment that increase the risk of youth substance abuse instead of focusing efforts on individuals. If we are to succeed in this effort, we have to focus on confronting conditions that increase youth substance abuse.

We look beyond the individual to the group, community, and culture for factors that affect youth substance abuse.  Community beliefs and attitudes may result in individual or group behavior that can either increase or reduce the risk of youth substance abuse. These beliefs are reflected in conditions that affect the use of substances. For example, stores in a community that are selling alcohol to minors or older youth introducing those younger to substances are some of the conditions we strive to address to prevent and reduce youth substance use.

For more information about environmental substance abuse prevention strategies from a coalition perspective, please review PDF The Coalition Impact: Environmental Prevention Strategies by CADCA.