The changes that are needed to transform how our nation prevents addiction are many and can feel daunting. Implementing these changes will require substantial shifts in how we think about addiction and prevention, how we allocate funds, and how our education, health, child welfare, and criminal justice systems operate. But recent interest in and attention to the broader pressing needs of children and families place us at a pivotal moment to change the approach to preventing substance use and addiction. Importantly, these changes will also help to more effectively prevent a number of other negative outcomes that share the same risk and protective factors.
Our 2022 Substance Use Prevention Agenda presents the priorities that we believe are essential for transforming the way our nation addresses prevention. Many of these priorities are cross-cutting and all aim to advance the principle of supporting and empowering families and communities. These do not represent all of the necessary changes but rather those that are priorities for our organization and where we’ve already begun or plan to undertake specific work. The priorities fall into the following categories: