PREVENTION ACTION TEAM
In order to reduce the impact of opioids in our communities, we must do more to prevent people, especially youth, from developing a substance abuse disorder in the first place.
The Community-Level Prevention Action Team, led by the Vermont Department of Health and the Chittenden Prevention Network, is collaborating with existing substance abuse prevention coalitions in the county to apply evidence-based prevention strategies in our area with an increased focus on opioids.
We help train our partners on the best practices for implementing environmental and individual prevention strategies, while bolstering the ongoing work of organizations in Chittenden County to improve public education around the dangers of substance abuse.
The team is drafting a “Call to Action” letter urging Vermont policymakers to increase funding for prevention programs. Currently, less than 10 percent of Vermont’s $50 million investment in Alcohol and Drug Abuse programs goes toward prevention.
However, money invested in prevention strategies not only saves lives, it can save money as well. Evidence-based school prevention programs can save $18 for every dollar invested, and every dollar invested in programs that support strong family connections can save between $3 and $11, according to Health Department figures.
- Heather Danis, VT Department of Health
- Mariah Sanderson, Chittenden Prevention Network & Burlington Partnership for a Healthy Community