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.

How does prevention work?


Preventing substance misuse reduces the risks that contribute to alcohol, tobacco or other drug use – while promoting protective factors that support healthy lifestyles and communities. By stopping substance use before it starts, or before it becomes substance misuse, prevention also works to save Vermont tax dollars. 

The Health Department works with people at the state, community, school, family and individual levels to develop strategies that positively change communities. By providing education, positive alternatives, policy changes, community support and early identification of problems and referral to services, prevention programs works to help Vermonters of all ages lead healthy lives.

No single prevention strategy works for everyone.

  • For teens and children, a psychosocial approach emphasizing personal skills development and task-oriented training often reduces alcohol and other drug use
  • For teens at higher-risk of substance use, counseling and family intervention show promise in affecting long-term risk and protective factors
  • For adults, changing the policies, regulations and laws to alter the community environment reduces alcohol and other drug misuse

Sensitivity to, and inclusion of, the cultural values of the community enhances effectiveness. 

Community Grants and Consultation



Grants to schools and community organizations through the Health Department help to customize prevention strategies based on community needs and work to address underage, high-risk and binge substance use. Initiatives support the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Framework

Vermonters across the state have access to one of 12 regional prevention consultants. These health professionals are substance use prevention experts working in the 12 local health offices in Vermont. They support community efforts to lead and carry out prevention efforts.

Contact your local health office to find local prevention resources in your area and how you can get involved.

Contact Us
Substance Use Programs (DSU)

Vermont Department of Health

[email protected]

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