Date Published:Oct 30, 2013
The Center for Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) has developed valuable new resources to help substance abuse prevention professionals tackle prescription drug abuse—a relatively new and rapidly growing concern in many states and local communities. In 2012, 14 states and the Pacific Jurisdiction of American Samoa received grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s “Partnerships for Success II” (PFS II) grant program to help them target nonmedical prescription drug use.
“These resources were developed to fill a big gap in information for the PFS II grantees as well as any prevention professional tackling this issue,” said Wayne Harding, CAPT principal investigator and chief of evaluation. “There is a wealth of knowledge and understanding about preventing other types of substance abuse, particularly alcohol abuse, but prescription drug abuse is emerging as a priority across the country and most prevention professionals have not had much if any experience with it. We wanted to give everyone an informed place to start with this topic.”
The first resource, Risk and Protective Factors Associated with Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs: A Review of Literature (2006-2012), identifies both risk and protective factors related to nonmedical prescription drug use. Risk factors are individual and community characteristics associated with an increased risk of prescription drug abuse; protective factors are those associated with a reduced risk—they provide a measure of protection against the prescription drug abuse. The review provides guidance for how, in combination with local needs assessments, prevention professionals can identify the factors at play in local communities, which is a necessary first step in reducing substance abuse.
Once the relevant risk and/or protective factors have been identified, the next step is selecting the best intervention(s) designed to influence those factors. Strategies and Interventions for Reducing Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs: A Review of Literature (2006-2013) will help with that process. Like the companion piece on risk and protective factors, it also includes guidance on how readers can use the resource. “The literature regarding effective interventions for nonmedical prescription drug use is not extensive because it’s an emerging issue area,” said Harding. “But knowing what is out there so far and how effective those interventions are is extremely useful for anyone starting to think about this.”
These new tools are part of a growing menu of resources developed by SAMHSA’s CAPT to support prevention practitioners working at the state and community levels to address prescription drug abuse misuse. To view more resources, visit captus.samhsa.gov and click on Targeted Prevention.