County of San Diego Substance Abuse Prevention Framework (1997)
This framework for the prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems has been developed so that San Diego County can achieve the greatest efficiency with public dollars and develop a more responsive approach to alcohol, tobacco and drug problem reduction in communities.
The prevention framework incorporates the concept of community partnerships, the application of new, science-based knowledge of alcohol, tobacco and other drug problem reduction, and the development of a system-wide, outcome-driven prevention strategy to address the increasing trend of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use among adolescents in San Diego County.
A Timely Response
The emerging view on how public agencies should respond to social problems is radically changing. Traditionally, government is viewed as the body responsible for developing specific services, describing how they should be operated, and defining the specific recipients of the service. Government and other public agencies have acted as caretakers for communities. Recently, approaches to planning services have developed that change the way public agencies interact with communities. The new approach is to interact with community groups as open and equal partners in seeking the public good.
The reorganization of the Department of Health Services into an integrated health services system is a clear example of government finding a better way to serve its citizens. Within the Department of Health Services, Alcohol and Drug Services (ADS) is applying a new understanding of alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems to the principles of community partnerships.
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Research has demonstrated the direct relationship between the incidence of alcohol problems and the level of alcohol consumption across a specific population (1). The level of tobacco and other drug use and drug-related problems likely has the same relationship. Since alcohol, tobacco and other drug problems occur within the context of larger social and personal problems, public and private policies regarding availability and other environmental factors become key issues in preventing problems. This new understanding has sharpened the abilities of prevention specialists to develop new strategies to help make healthier communities.
Finally, the nationwide general trend of declining alcohol, tobacco and other drug use is not occurring among young people, especially adolescents. Intervention on this trend is the intent of this framework.