The first and obvious answer to WHY do Prevention is: the health of a community is only as strong as the health of its individuals, and we care about one another. As this website puts it, "we depend on one another for good health and wellness."

If you're a numbers person, consider this:

  • Substance abuse is among the most costly health problems in the United States. When comparing the costs of 33 common diseases and conditions in the U.S., problem alcohol use ranked second, tobacco use ranked sixth, and drug disorders ranked seventh. (National Institutes of Health [NIH], 2000). Programs designed to prevent substance abuse can reduce these costs.

Prevention Benefits

Research over the last two decades has proven that drug and alcohol addiction is both preventable and treatable.

Cost Benefit studies indicate that $1 spent on substance abuse prevention can result in $10 of long-term savings. Read cost/benefit reports here and read about the cost of underage drinking specifically in Vermont here.

The positive outcomes from successful substance abuse prevention efforts are many.

  • Fewer drug abuse-related emergency room visits,

  • Increased productivity,

  • Improved job stability,

  • Fewer unemployment episodes,

  • Lower rates of violent crime,

  • Prevention of DUI injuries to others,

  • Better family interaction,

  • Reduced juvenile delinquency,

  • Fewer incidents of family violence,

  • Improved school attendance and academic achievement, and

  • Better health outcomes.

Source: CASAColumbia. (2009). Shoveling up II: The Impact of Substance Abuse on Federal, State and Local Budgets.


Can we Prevent Substance Abuse in Vermont?

  • Science-validated substance abuse prevention programs, if properly implemented by schools and communities, can reduce substance abuse.

  • These (science-validated) programs work to boost protective factors and eliminate or reduce risk factors for drug use.

  • Also demonstrating success are environmental strategies - those prevention efforts aimed at changing or influencing community conditions, standards, systems and policies. For example, research shows that sales to underage youth are higher in communities where a responsible beverage service training program is not in place.