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"Policy" is a plan or course of action intended to influence and determine decisions, actions, and behaviors of people. Policy is one of several power strategies and is most effective when used in concert with education and power strategies. (Monograph written by Dr. William R. Carmack, Ph.D.) Substance abuse prevention policy includes laws, rules, and regulations that serve to control availability of tobacco, alcohol and other substances. Pricing, deterrence, restricted availability and restricted use are examples of types of policy strategies. These kinds of strategies are used in organizations, agencies, institutions and workplaces - public and private - at local, state, and national levels.  
For more information on prevention policy or to inquire about trainings and workshops offered by CSAP's Southwest CAPT, contact the State Liaison assigned to your state or call (800) 853-2572 or (405) 325-1454 for assistance.

Prevention professionals, practitioners, and involved community members can play a critical role influencing substance abuse prevention policies. Examples of substance abuse prevention policy strategies include:

Legal blood alcohol content limited to 0.08
Deterrents to using alcohol, e.g., suspend drivers license for underage drinking convictions
Increased excise tax on purchase of tobacco and alcohol products
Smoking restricted and/or banned in public places
Location and density of alcohol retail outlets limited

For more information on prevention strategies, please see:

"Critical Choices: Making Drug Policy at the State Level"
Environmental Prevention Strategies: An Introduction & Overview
Integrating Environmental Change Theory Into Prevention Practice
Shoveling Up: The Impact of Substance Abuse on State Budgets
Drug Strategies
Center for Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws
Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)
Join Together Online


Planning for Change:
A Systems Model for Communities and Organizations

a monograph on social change written by William R. Carmack, Ph.D.

  Dr. Carmack has doctorate's degree in communications from the University of Illinois. He practiced and taught planned change for thirty years and is a regent professor and former chair of communications at The University of Oklahoma. (Not available online.)

Please contact our office for a copy.
CSAP's Southwest CAPT - Telephone (800) 853-2572 -or- Email


CSAP's Model Programs CSAP - Center for Substance Abuse Prevention SAMHSA Prevention Decision Support System

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