Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Prevention Practice

Boy hanging on the monkey bars

This section offers a roadmap for planning, implementing, and evaluating evidence-based prevention interventions that strengthen behavioral health and reduce the likelihood of substance abuse and related health problems at the community, State, Territorial, and Tribal levels. Specifically, it contains the resources and tools practitioners need to:

  • Understand substance abuse prevention within the larger context of behavioral health;
  • Implement SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework, a framework for improving behavioral health at the State, Jurisdictional, Tribal, and local levels;
  • Gather, analyze, and use epidemiological data to ensure that prevention planning is outcomes-focused and addresses the unique needs of a particular population;
  • Apply prevention approaches that are an appropriate fit for the community and address those factors that contribute to identified substance abuse and related problems;
  • Define evidence-based—those prevention activities that evaluation research has shown to be effective; and
  • Use targeted prevention approaches and tools that are culturally competent and address the unique needs of particular populations.


Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract (Reference #HHSS277200800004C).