About the Coalition Process
The Milton Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition has elected to follow a proven Strategic Prevention Framework, developed and recommended for local coalitions like ours by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
The strategy behind this Framework is to use findings from public health research, along with evidence-based prevention programs, to build community capacity and sustainable prevention. This, in turn, promotes resilience, reducing risk factors in individuals, families, and communities.
If the paragraph above sounds like opaque insider talk, keep in mind two words:
- “Prevention,” the fourth word in the Milton Coalition’s name, is key to our mission. Our priority is to work with town departments, opinion leaders, residents, experts, and youth to prevent problems before they arise.
- “Data” isn’t in our name. But real numbers, real stories and research-based (or evidence-based) strategies are core to our process. Many communities share similar problems, but every community is unique. No “one size fits all” solution exists. Local data and national research are what enable communities to develop effective local prevention strategies, specific to that community’s specific circumstances.
Here is how the SAMHSA defines Prevention:
Five Step Process
The Strategic Prevention Framework uses a five-step planning process to guide communities in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of effective, culturally appropriate, and sustainable prevention activities.
Here is a (brief) outline of the five step methodology:
- Assess Needs
- Build Capacity
Those interested in learning more about the Strategic Prevention Framework process may enjoy reading SAMHSA's articles "Applying the Strategic Prevention Framework," and “Focus on Prevention: Strategies and Programs to Prevention Substance Use.”
The Strategic Prevention Framework process fosters Prevention in many ways.
- It promotes youth development
- It reduces risk-taking behaviors
- It builds assets and resilience
- It prevents problem behaviors across the life span of the programs
Integration with Existing Systems
A Coalition’s job is to research, to inform, and to make recommendations to a community’s existing leadership. An effective Coalition won’t hijack the efforts of Public Health, Law Enforcement or Public Schools officials. Rather, the Coalition seeks to enhance the work of these professionals through data-informed recommendations and indeed welcomes these departments to be part of the process.
Milton is fortunate to have many experienced Public Health professionals actively involved in our Coalition. If you have any questions about the mission or the process, the Milton Coalition’s leadership is eager to talk with you. Don’t forget to check our calendar for upcoming meetings where you can see first hand what is happening and ask questions or voice concerns.