Abstract: Viewing Substance Abuse Prevention Over the Long Term (Society for Prevention Research 21st Annual Meeting)

206 Viewing Substance Abuse Prevention Over the Long Term

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Pacific D-O (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
Rodney Allen Wambeam, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
Eric L. Canen, MS, Senior Research Scientist, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY
While evaluating statewide prevention efforts, researchers at the University of Wyoming recognized an opportunity to take a long-term view of alcohol abuse prevention. Prior to 2001 Wyoming’s prevention system received almost no state funding and very little federal funding to target underage drinking or adult binge drinking. As a result, Wyoming and its communities lacked the components of a modern prevention infrastructure that include coalitions, evidence-based strategies, and data-driven decision making. Local prevention efforts generally involved passing out pamphlets at health fairs or conducting public events such as puppet shows, and there was no single state agency devoted to substance abuse prevention. That all changed when Wyoming received the original State Incentive Grant (SIG) in 2001 and the Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) in 2004. These projects flooded the state with funding to do modern, science-based prevention and saw the start of Wyoming’s Substance Abuse Division. In essence, Wyoming experienced more than a decade without alcohol prevention followed by a decade of cutting edge prevention targeting alcohol abuse.

The poster session proposed here illustrates the work of researchers who seized upon the opportunity to study long term prevention efforts using an interrupted time-series design to better understand the effect of the dramatic changes in the statewide prevention system. Changes in alcohol use rates are consistent with a shift in policy and demonstrate the potential impact of increased prevention efforts. The poster also demonstrates many of the nuances of this changing prevention system and its positive outcomes.