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What is the Strategic Prevention Framework?

___The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) outlines a process that an organization, initiative, community, or state can follow in order to prevent and reduce the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

___SPF concentrates on eliminating risk factors and strengthening protective factors.

___Risk factors are those elements within an individual or her environment that make her more susceptible to particular negative behaviors or conditions.

___Protective factors are the opposite – those elements within an individual or his environment that make him less susceptible to those negative behaviors or conditions.

___SPF has five phases:

  • Assessment
  • Capacity
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Why use the Strategic Prevention Framework?

___SPF is inclusive and participatory.

___SPF emphasizes the role of the community in prevention.

___SPF is open-ended, and encourages communities to find their own solutions.

___SPF aims to create long-term social change by focusing on risk and protective factors that can be influenced by short- or medium-term prevention efforts.

___SPF provides communities with proven, evidence-based models to choose from.

___SPF provides technical assistance and links to other practitioners and programs.

___SPF’s focus on risk and protective factors can improve the long-term well-being of the community.

Possible Disadvantages to Using SPF

___Limited resources.

___Insistence on the faithful implementation of evidence-based programs.

___Administrative load.

When should you use the Strategic Prevention Framework?

___Before there’s a serious problem.

___When resources are available.

___When a community problem has entered the public consciousness, but before it has reached crisis stage.

___When a community problem has reached the crisis stage.

___When there’s public focus on an at-risk population, particularly youth.

___When there’s a community economic development effort underway and people are looking at the community’s quality of life.

___When a grassroots movement for community improvement has arisen, and is looking for a way to address community issues.

Who should use the Strategic Prevention Framework?

___Members of the population(s) most at risk.

___Medical professionals, particularly those who work directly with at-risk populations.

___Human service workers.

___Alcohol- and drug-treatment professionals, as well as researchers in the field.

___Law enforcement officials.


___Elected and appointed public officials and policy makers at the appropriate level.




___The business community.

___Interested community members.

How do you use the Strategic Prevention Framework?

Phase 1: Assessment

___Form an epidemiological workgroup.

___Assess community needs and assets.

___Assess community readiness.

___Determine the most pressing need that a prevention effort can influence.

Phase 2: Capacity. 

___Start with your core group.

___Choose or develop a logic model or theory of practice to guide your effort.

___Use what you know about the community’s level of readiness to publicize the issue and encourage participation.

___Expand the network of community members interested in preventing substance use.

Phase 3: Planning.

___Assemble a planning team.

___Train the planning team.

___Analyze local risk and protective factors.

___Choose the factors you’ll concentrate on.

___Research and choose an evidence-based approach that can be used with the risk and protective factors you’ve settled on.

___Create an overall plan for the effort.

___Present the plan to the community and gather support.

Phase 4: Implementation.

___Hire staff and/or recruit volunteers.

___Stick to your plan for the implementation process.

___Continue to pay attention to resources.

___Keep the community informed.

Phase 5: Evaluation.

___Evaluate the process.

___Evaluate the impact of the program.

___Evaluate the outcomes.

___Use the evaluation results to adjust the program to be more effective.

___Keep at it indefinitely.