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.

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.