Prevention & Health Promotion
Everyone has a role in prevention. But what is prevention? In a broad sense, prevention is taking measures to stop or reduce the chances of something happening. This can apply to anything – eating healthy and exercising to reduce chances of heart disease and stroke, changing the oil in your car to reduce damage to its engine, talking to your child or children in your life about the dangers of using alcohol and drugs to reduce their chances of developing a substance use disorder, etc.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines prevention as interventions, delivered prior to the onset of a disorder, intended to prevent or reduce the risk of developing a behavioral health problem, such as underage alcohol use, prescription drug misuse, and abuse, and illicit drug use.
Again, defined by SAMHSA, health promotion is defined as strategies that are designed to create environments and conditions that support behavioral health and the ability of individuals to withstand challenges. Promotion strategies also reinforce the entire continuum of behavioral health services.
The Six Sector Approach to Prevention & Health Promotion
Prevention and health promotion takes a community effort to succeed. We follow a six-sector model developed by the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services that serves as the foundation for building readiness, promoting best practices, and leveraging resources in a comprehensive and collective manner in New Hampshire Communities. Each sector works within their sphere of influence to promote healthy choices and prevent risky behaviors.
For more information and further reading about prevention and health promotion, SAMHSA put out a very good and comprehensive report called Strategies and Programs to Prevent Substance Use.