Substance Use Prevention Needs an Earlier and Broader Approach: Report

    An earlier and broader approach to substance use prevention is needed, according to a new report from Partnership to End Addiction.

    According to the report, current strategies primarily target the individual child, rather than parents, families and communities. They typically begin in late middle school or high school, rather than in early childhood when the seeds of risk and resilience are planted. They focus mostly on risk reduction, rather than on promoting health and resilience. And they address only a small portion of individual factors associated with substance use.

    Many of the risk factors commonly targeted in substance use prevention programs have roots in early childhood, sometimes as early as infancy. By intervening earlier and more broadly, we can better prevent substance use in adolescence and the countless unhealthy and damaging consequences associated with it, the report states.

    The report describes barriers to change and offers concrete recommendations for policymakers, caregivers, educators, health care providers and researchers to enact an earlier, broader and more effective approach to substance use prevention and youth health promotion.


    February 2022