Chittenden Prevention Network (CPN) is a collective of prevention coalitions and public health organizations focused on preventing substance abuse and misuse in our county. Our organizations have joined together, using a collective impact model to improve public education, policy and practice, and to support healthy communities.
Our mission is to work together to strengthen the collective impact of efforts across Chittenden County to support healthy communities and prevent substance misuse.
What is prevention?
Prevention work reduces the risk of substance misuse and abuse in our communities.
Approaches are varied, and include addressing both individual behavior and environmental factors. Prevention coalitions help community members develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they need to make good choices or change harmful behaviors.
Environmental prevention strategies are tailored to the unique needs of each community. They address the root causes of risky behaviors by creating environments that make it easier to act in healthy ways.
When implemented effectively, these strategies create shifts in both individual attitudes and community norms that result in long-term success!
CAN WE PREVENT SUBSTANCE MISUSE IN VERMONT?
Yes, we can and we have!
When funding is dedicated to prevention efforts we see substance misuse rates decrease.
Science-validated substance abuse prevention programs, if properly implemented by schools and communities, can reduce substance abuse.
Also demonstrating success are environmental strategies – those prevention efforts aimed at changing or influencing community conditions, standards, systems and policies.
WHEN DO WE START? ANYTIME . And the earlier the better, because:
- Youth are five times more likely to develop a substance use disorder compared to adults. Only about 10% of substance dependence cases occur in people who began using after adolescence.
- People who began using addictive substances before age 15 are 6 1/2 times more likely to become addicted than those who delay first use until age 21 or older.
- 9 out of 10 people with addiction involving addictive substances began using before the age of 18.
- Every year that substance use is delayed during brain development. the risk of addiction decreases.