A Division for Advancing Prevention & Treatment (ADAPT) provides substance use prevention Training and Technical Assistance to HIDTA communities across the nation. The Prevention Post keeps HIDTA communities up-to-date with the latest advances and opportunities in the field.

Director's Message

Dear HIDTA Communities,


What an action-packed quarter this has been! To begin with, how wonderful it was to come together with so many of you at the HIDTA Prevention Summit on October 6th. It just may have been our best Summit yet. If you missed it, never fear, as most of the presentations are now available on ADAPT's Youtube channel.

While there are so many special things about this issue, 3 new ADAPT resources we want to draw your attention to include:

  • A Substance Use Prevention Communications Toolkit for youth 12-18The toolkit was developed as a response to numerous technical assistance requests coming in across the country for more guidance on this topic. It was released at our HIDTA Prevention Summit on October 6th and is now available on ADAPT's webpage

  • The Mind the Message CampaignEnhance your learning journey in the field of substance use prevention communications by pledging to communicate with youth for substance use prevention using evidence-informed strategies. Participants in the campaign will receive emails with additional details on concepts presented in the toolkit, workshops to support skill development, extra resources, and examples of how people are applying these concepts in their own communities. Join the campaign!

The new Treatment and Prevention Manager (a real mover and shaker!) at the Northwest HIDTA is featured in this issue along with a momentous and significant award for a true prevention champion, Arizona HIDTA's Demand Reduction Coordinator Shelly Mowery.  


THANK YOU for your dedication to preventing substance use in HIDTA communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to support the remarkable work you do.

Keep Cultivating,
Lora Peppard, PhD, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Director of ADAPT
Deputy Director for Treatment & Prevention
Washington/Baltimore HIDTA

HIDTA Spotlight

Northwest HIDTA Undergoes Strategic Reorganization of Prevention and Treatment Strategy

Led by Director Jonathan Weiner and Deputy Director Matt Duran, the NW HIDTA has been building a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy over the last year. Recognizing there were opportunities to enhance their existing prevention and treatment efforts, the team began asking themselves critical questions:

  1. What’s working with our current approach and what are the opportunities for growth?
  2. How can we strategically integrate prevention into the work we do with our community partners? 
  3. How can we ensure our approach is having an impact in advancing prevention and treatment in our communities? 

In January 2022, the NW HIDTA team brought in Eliza Powell in the role of Prevention and Treatment Manager to oversee the transformation of their prevention and treatment strategy. Eliza immediately began working with interested parties to revise prevention and treatment program goals and objectives, improve programmatic logic models, and develop a meaningful evaluation plan. 

The NW HIDTA is well into meeting their goal of expanding the reach and impact of HIDTA resources into their communities. Key activities have included:

  1. Formalizing an application and selection process for programs seeking NW HIDTA funding.
  2. Developing technical assistance, training, and evaluation support for funded programs.
  3. Expanding quarterly programmatic surveys to include more meaningful metrics and feedback opportunities.
  4. Bolstering prevention implementation training for HIDTA and ORS staff.
  5. Remaining connected with stakeholders through quarterly reports that leverage HIDTA’s unique capacity to share data about emerging drug trends.

For more information on this transformative work, contact the NW HIDTA Team.


Over 1500 people registered for the 2022 HIDTA Prevention Summit to learn more about the science behind effectively communicating about substance use prevention with youth aged 12-18.

This year’s Summit, titled “Mind the Message: Equipping Communities with Evidence-Informed Communication Strategies for Youth Substance Use Prevention,” delivered on its goals to prepare caregivers, educators, healthcare and public safety professionals, and prevention experts in applying evidence-informed communication strategies to: 

  1. Develop messages and have conversations with youth ages 12-18 and,
  2. Change social mindsets to build community readiness for substance use prevention


The Summit served as a direct response to the multiple requests from HIDTA communities seeking guidance on the topic. The day-long event provided participants with, i) a rationale for upstream substance use prevention, ii) the role of communication science in this effort, and iii) introduction to concrete strategies and resources to help members of the community apply substance use prevention communications to their prevention conversations and activities.

The Summit also launched:

  1. An introduction to the Substance Use Prevention Communications Toolkit, a resource that synthesizes communications science into guidance for creating, delivering, and disseminating prevention messaging targeting youth aged 12-18.
  2. The MIND the MESSAGE campaign (see below). 

An overwhelming 99.5% of Summit participants walked away having learned something new and 82% left ready to apply what they had learned!

In case you’ve missed the Summit, read a detailed account HERE and get information on how to access the recordings and resources!

Participate in the MIND the MESSAGE campaign and receive specific strategies, resources, and community examples to support YOUR efforts in communicating with youth for substance use prevention!

The MIND the MESSAGE campaign launched October 6th at the 2022 HIDTA Prevention Summit. The five-month campaign will guide you through an in depth exploration of the most important topics in the Substance Use Prevention Messaging Toolkit. Participants can expect to receive approximately two emails per week with access to additional guidance and resources that bring the toolkit to life.

PLEDGE TODAY and be part of a growing community committed to integrating evidence-informed strategies into communications with youth.

P L E D G E to communicate with youth about substance use prevention using evidence-informed strategies.

L E A R N one positive social norm for substance use in your community.

U S E that positive norm in a frame when communicating with youth.

S H A R E this Call to Action with others who interact with youth.    


Arizona HIDTA Prevention Representative Wins the

"Pay it Forward" Award

Shelly Mowrey, the Demand Reduction Coordinator for Arizona HIDTA, received the “Pay it Forward” award presented by local news channel Arizona's Family TV News. Shelly's tremendous accomplishments in substance use prevention and support in the development and dissemination of the Fentanyl Prevention Toolkit were acknowledged. Shelly was nominated for the award by coworker Randy Moffitt, Arizona HIDTA's Drug Intelligence Officer.

Watch the full news story HERE

Prevention Tip

Use active listening and open-ended questions to build rapport when communicating with youth about substance use prevention.

Actively listening is the first, and perhaps most important, communication skill. To listen actively means to engage closely with what a speaker says, both verbally and nonverbally, in a nonjudgmental way. Listening in this way allows the listener to understand a person’s perspective, concerns, and ambivalence, all of which help to more strategically guide the conversation. 

Build rapport talking with youth by actively listening and using open-ended questions. Open-ended questions draw out a person's experience and help increase engagement in a conversation by requiring more than a simple yes/no or head nod. Try using open-ended questions by starting your questions with words like How, When, Tell, and Describe. 

To learn more about communicating with youth aged 12 -18 about substance use prevention, download ADAPT's new Substance Use Prevention Communications Toolkit.

Mark Your Calendars

UPCOMING WEBINAR: Using Evidence-Based Registries to Identify Substance Use Prevention Interventions

In partnership with Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, this webinar will support attendees in identifying effective upstream prevention interventions to meet community needs. Attendees will learn how to navigate the Blueprints registry to find evidence-based interventions and learn how interventions are certified as either model plus, model, or promising designations.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

3:00-4:30pm ET

Register HERE!

Public Health/Public Safety Updates

National Emerging Threats Initiative (NETI)

News reports over the past several years have documented an alarming increase in cocaine overdose deaths. A 2021 CDC mortality data review shows that 71% of cocaine-related deaths also included the far more lethal synthetic opioid fentanyl [1]. A study of deaths attributable to methamphetamine and heroin also indicates increasing levels of fentanyl contamination.

Ongoing contamination of the illicit drug supply with fentanyl will likely result in continuing high levels of overdose fatalities. It has been recommended that public policy efforts focus on fentanyl-specific strategies to mitigate the damage caused by this lethal synthetic opioid and its analogs.

Multiple Cause of Death Data on CDC WONDER. (n.d.). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from https://wonder.cdc.gov/mcd.html

ODMAP: Overdose Detection Mapping Application Program

New Social Media Quick Guide

In September, ODMAP collaborated with ADAPT  to release a Social Media Quick Guide. This guide is designed to assist ODMAP users in preparing to share ODMAP data via social media to inform their community of immediate overdose threats and encourage action and engagement in response. The guide provides users with steps for developing a plan for timely information sharing and offers sample spike alert messages for a variety of social media platforms.

The guide can be viewed HERE. A corresponding webinar introducing the guide was held with over 100 in attendance, and the event recording can be viewed HERE.

Get Connected

To view subscription links to all previously listed resources in this section, such as substance use prevention newsletters, click HERE and scroll to GET CONNECTED. 

Resources/Science from the Field


How do you know if a child needs more support, and where do you go to find it?

SAMHSA's "Talk. They Hear You." campaign recently launched a new screening tool, Screen4Success. The tool provides an easy way for caregivers to identify additional support that their youth may benefit from. Questions focus on substance use, mental and physical health, family life, and general wellbeing.

Learn more HERE.

The Role of Connection to School Community in Preventing Youth Substance Use 

Did you know that increasing a youth's sense of belonging at school can help to protect them from substance use?

Sense of belonging at school is a well-established protective factor against substance use. A needs assessment conducted by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing found that about half of youth report not feeling a genuine sense of belonging at school. There are ways to increase sense of belonging and these include committing to activities that build trust with students and encourage participation in extracurricular activities.

Find additional guidance HERE.

Adapting Evidence-based Practices (EBPs) for Under-Resourced Populations

Would you like to know HOW to adapt EBPs for Under-Resourced Populations?

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released a new guide to help support the adaptation of evidence-based practices (EPBs) for under-resourced populations, which includes any group that experiences significant obstacles to health based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, income, geography, sexual orientation, etc. Thoughtful adaptations that tailor towards the specific contexts of the people served can yield positive results. The guide summarizes the adaptation research, shares guidance for adapting and implementing EBPs, presents examples of cultural adaptations, and offers resources for evaluation and quality improvement.

Access the full guide HERE.

Talking With Your Children about Stress 

Curious about how to bring up the topic of stress with youth?  

Recent surveys show considerably high levels of stress in American adults and youth. This recently updated article from the American Psychological Association provides a variety of tips on how to talk with children about stress. These includes being available, listening actively, and responding thoughtfully.

Read these and more tips HERE.

Psychoactive Substances and the Developing Brain: New Findings Underscore Prevention Need 

Do you know what the current research says about the effects of substance use on the developing brain? 

A recent post from Applied Prevention Science International synthesizes the most up-to-date science on how nicotine, alcohol, cannabis, and other psychoactive substances impact the developing brain.  Implications for prevention services include prenatal services for individuals using substances during pregnancy, parenting programs, and evidence-based prevention programs from early childhood to adolescence.

Learn more about this science and ideas for prevention HERE.

Prenatal Cannabis Exposure Associated with Mental Disorders in Children That Persist Into Early Adolescence  

Wondering about the possible effects of prenatal cannabis exposure?

Research from the National Institutes of Health showed an association with cannabis exposure during pregnancy and later attention, social, and behavioral problems during early adolescence (11-12 years of age). The study will continue to track nearly 12,000 youth into young adulthood to better understand the longer-term impact of prenatal cannabis exposure. 

Learn more HERE.

Biden-Harris Administration Awards More Than $1.6 Billion in Funds for Communities Addressing Addiction and Overdose Crises 

Do you know how the critical needs of rural and tribal communities are being met by expanding access to opioid use disorder treatment?

In September, funding was awarded through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to communities throughout the U.S. to address overdose. The goal of this funding is to expand access to culturally responsive prevention, treatment and recovery services in rural and tribal communities.

Read the announcement HERE.

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The ADAPT Team
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