Environmental Strategies

What’s the environment got to do with substance use?


Individuals do not become involved with substances solely on the basis of personal characteristics.

They are influenced by a complex set of factors, such as:

  • institutional rules and regulations,
  • community norms,
  • mass media messages and
  • the accessibility of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

When a comprehensive, multi-strategy effort is in place, coalitions contribute to making a difference for the entire community.

Today, there is ample evidence that proves well-conceived and implemented policies—local, state and national—can reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems.

Grounded in the field of public health, environmental strategies offer well-accepted prevention approaches that coalitions use to change the environment in which substance use and abuse occur.

Examples of environmental strategies include:

  • Increasing fines for underage drinking
  • Moving tobacco products behind the counter at convenience stores
  • Not selling cold, single serving containers of beer in convenience stores
  • Removing advertising for alcohol & tobacco products at facilities that host family and youth events 

For more information about environmental strategies and real examples of how environmental strategies are implemented click here.