Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Prevention and Behavioral Health

Three kids lying in the grass

One in five people in the U.S. experience a mental illness each year. One in five of these individuals have a substance abuse disorder. In the past, public health practitioners have focused on the prevention of a single disorder, such as substance abuse. In recent decades, researchers are finding that substance abuse and other behavioral health problems—such as psychological distress and suicide—are interrelated and can be addressed at the same time.

SAMHSA’s CAPT developed a set of fact sheets designed to help practitioners think about their substance abuse prevention work in the overall context of behavioral health:

  • A Behavioral Lens on Prevention describes the scope and impact of behavioral health problems, the relationship between substance abuse and other behavioral health problems, and an introduction to the Behavioral Health Continuum of Care Model.
  • Levels of Risk, Levels of Intervention provides an introduction to risk and protective factors, underscoring the importance of matching prevention interventions to a target population’s level of risk and clarifying the difference between individual- and population-level risk.
  • Key Features of Risk and Protective Factors describes how risk and protective factors influence each other and behavioral health outcomes, over time.
  • The Developmental Framework highlights the importance of matching intervention to the appropriate developmental period, underscoring the importance of timing when delivering a prevention intervention. This fact sheet is accompanied by a table of the core competencies and contextual risk and protective factors for substance abuse associated with each developmental period.

Download these fact sheets as PDFDownload these fact sheets as a complete PDF

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