Programs and services that help communities become as healthy and involved as they can be are a key part of alcohol and drug use prevention in Vermont. Bringing communities together is a job for many people from all walks of life, including law enforcement, the news media, parents, students, community coalitions, and health care providers. Alcohol and drug prevention programs help support communities to grow in wellness and health.
For more information on Vermont prevention strategies see How Prevention Works
Example of Community Prevention in Action: Deerfield Valley Community Partnership
The aim of the community-based grants program is to reduce health care costs by supporting healthy behaviors in communities, helping Vermonters to lead healthy lives.
Community-based prevention grants support strategies to:
- Reduce high-risk drinking among Vermonters age 18 to 25
- Reduce underage drinking among Vermonters age 12 to 20
- Reduce marijuana use among Vermonters age 12 to 17
The Regional Prevention Partnerships grants are a customized regional response to reduce alcohol and drug use among adolescents, teens, and young adults.
This is a federally funded program that builds on Vermont’s experience with the strategic prevention framework.
The strategic prevention framework is a way of guiding prevention programs to make sure they stay on track to make a positive change in meeting prevention program goals. The ultimate goal is to have an effective regional prevention network that will collectively cover the entire state, working with centralized support and services.
Regional Prevention Partnerships will work to:
- Increase state, regional and community capacity to prevent underage and binge drinking, prescription drug misuse, and marijuana use through a targeted regional approach
- Reduce underage and binge drinking among Vermonters aged 12 to 20
- Reduce prescription drug misuse and abuse among Vermonters aged 12 to 25
- Reduce marijuana use among Vermonters aged 12 to 25
The School-based Substance Abuse Services grants support alcohol and drug use prevention and mental health promotion in selected supervisory unions throughout the state.
Through the grants, schools implement substance use prevention strategies, including:
- Substance use and mental health screening and referral services
- Initiatives that support the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Framework
- Classroom health curricula
- Peer leadership groups
- Parent education
- Teacher and support staff alcohol and other drug training
- Educational support groups
In 2018 Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE), evaluator for the School-Based Substance Abuse Services Grant program, conducted a review of the literature related to universal school-based screening. The Summary of Published Guidelines and Recent Studies Regarding School-based Screening for Substance Use and Mental Health Issues (Middle Schools and High Schools) includes the results of this review.
These health professionals are alcohol and drug use prevention experts working in the 12 local health offices in Vermont. They support community efforts to lead and carry out prevention efforts.
Prevention consultants are there to help with:
- Community organizing
- Program planning & consultation
- Presentations & training
- Community grants information & guidance
- Information & referral