Prevention is a changing field that is continuing to meet the challenges and requirements of our parent organization, NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) while striving to meet the needs of our community and the people we serve.
Prevention programs and services are meant to reach individuals, families, schools, and communities. The major goals of Prevention Education include:
- Preventing any alcohol, tobacco and/or drug abuse by youth under 21 years of age
- Preventing the use of any illegal drugs by all individuals
- Delaying the age of first use as long as possible, with particular emphasis on preventing use of the gateway drugs
The Prevention & Education Department has several evidence- based programs available that have been chosen using the risk/protective framework endorsed by OASAS and originally developed by Hawkins and Catalano in the early 90’s. Risk and protective factors are based on research that shows consideration to all the domains a person encounters. The goal is to increase a person’s protective factor and also decrease the number of risk factors in a person’s life. The domains that impact our behaviors include: Community, Family, School and Individual-Peer.
In addition to using science based curriculums, prevention implementation is more likely to be successful when we consider these guidelines that have been researched and recommended by experts in our field, as compiled by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP):
- Information dissemination is accurate; age appropriate alcohol and other drug information
- Education includes social competencies and life skills such as decision making, problem solving and resistance skills
- Positive alternatives: support of activities and events that focus on fun and are conducted in an alcohol and drug free setting
- Community and professional mobilization: training in prevention techniques/strategies for those individuals or organizations that impact the behavior of others. Example – parents, employers, policymakers, and educators
- Early intervention: identify high risk individuals as early as possible with linkages to interventions and other services
- Environmental change and social policies: work to change or influence the social policies and/or norms regarding alcohol and drug use/abuse
Throughout the year, CASA holds several events in our county in order to educate our youth, families, educators, professionals, and other community members about alcohol, substance abuse, and topics related to alcohol and substance abuse.
Contact us at 585.991.5012, ask for the Prevention Department.