While effective addiction treatment programs are essential in every community, preventative programs are just as important. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, around 22.5 million Americans over the age of 12 reported needing treatment for drugs or alcohol. Another 11.89 million reported needing mental health services of some type during that same year. Prevention programs that focus on both preventing substance abuse and addressing the challenges of mental illness in this country tend to be the most effective overall.
An Ounce of Prevention
In addition to reducing the number of people struggling with substance abuse, prevention programming creates a healthier community overall. Drug and alcohol abuse can lead to a host of additional medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, liver disease and some types of cancer. The cost of treating these conditions is great, particularly when it is coupled with the cost of treating mental illnesses that are frequently associated with substance abuse as well.
Your Part in the Process
As an addiction treatment facility in your community, you have the important role of engaging in prevention programming as well as treatment for substance abuse. These programs not only serve the health of the community; they also serve to enhance your reputation and standing within the community for a healthier business operation. When your facility is known for its prevention efforts, those requiring treatment will be more likely to select your center when the need arises.
Like the treatment programs you offer in your center, there are prevention programs based in scientific evidence and research. These programs have been tested and proven, ensuring you will receive the best return on your investment. There are three basic components to evidence-based prevention programs:
Prevention programs can be based in schools or focused on the family units. They are generally geared towards a specific demographic in terms of age, race, at-risk populations, etc. Although these programs tend to have a specific setting, they should also have the flexibility to be taken out of that situation to other settings within the community.
The content of the prevention program must encompass both information and skills development to help at-risk populations find ways to resist the lure of substances. In addition, content may include specific strategies geared towards policy changes that would make substance abuse less accessible. Services might also be part of the content of your program, providing health care and counseling to at-risk populations and their family members.
While prevention programs can be effective within communities, parental support is necessary for true success of these efforts. This means prevention programs must also provide information, counseling and support to parents and other family members that might play a role in preventing substance abuse within their homes. Delivery must also be as early as possible, since studies show that early intervention is a key component in lowering the incidence of substance abuse overall.
Prevention programs are an effective way to make your name familiar within your community, but establishing these programs can be complex and time consuming. Let the professionals at C4 Consulting provide our expertise and experience to help you establish evidence-based prevention programs that will have a true impact on your community. To learn more about these services or other consulting options available through C4 Consulting, contact us today at 866.329.7170!