The work of substance abuse prevention coalitions is closely tied to public health. Public health is what we as a society do collectively to assure the conditions for people to be healthy. This is the work of coalitions – uniting the community to find the best ways to reduce harm and increase community health.

Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF)

Prevention science involves using a planning framework that uses data to make informed decisions about what types of interventions are best suited to address substance abuse and its related problems in a community.

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) uses a five-step planning process to guide states, jurisdictions, tribes, and communities in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of effective, culturally appropriate, and sustainable prevention activities.

The SPF provides a detailed process for communities to:

  • Assess their prevention needs based on epidemiological data
  • Build capacity for prevention
  • Develop a strategic plan that identifies goals, objectives, and strategies
  • Implement effective community prevention programs, policies, and practices
  • Evaluate their efforts for outcomes.

Helpful Links

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
CADCA offers a wide range of tools and publications, including the popular Strategizer technical assistance manuals or the Primer Series – a series of publications developed by CADCA’s National Coalition Institute to help coalitions understand the implement the Strategic Prevention Framework. 

The Community Toolbox
The Community Tool Box is a free, online resource for those working to build healthier communities and bring about social change.

Coalitions Work
This organization helps coalitions and partnerships reach their potential to be a force for positive change in the health of their communities.

Illinois Association of Community Action Agencies is the membership organization that provides a unified voice and support to the poverty-fighting network of Community Action Agencies.

Prevention Institute presents eight steps for effective coalition building.

SAMHSA's Mayor's Resource Guide on Behavioral Health Issues equips mayors and other local public health officials with strategies and resources to use in their role in shaping community responses that promote mental health and substance abuse recovery and ensure that needed treatments and services are available.