A Division for Advancing Prevention & Treatment (ADAPT) provides substance use prevention Training and Technical Assistance to High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (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,


Over the last few months, you may have noticed ADAPT's focus on using the best available evidence to support your substance use prevention communications with youth. After releasing the Substance Use Prevention Communications Toolkit for youth 12-18 at the HIDTA Prevention Summit in October, we quickly followed-up with a series of post-Summit workshops on the planning, implementing, and evaluating social norms interventions, which represent the best available evidence for communicating with youth to prevent onset or escalation of substance use (find a link to register for the 3rd workshop below!). We also recently launched a MIND the MESSAGE Campaign (see below to sign up!) earlier this month to bring specific topics from the toolkit to life in a more detailed way for campaign participants. These technical assistance products and services have been informed by YOU through evaluations, needs assessment, webinar conversations, and more, and additional resources are on the horizon. WE ARE LISTENING. Please continue to send your feedback and requests to us at adapt@wb.hidta.org.

You will read in this issue about two HIDTAs on fire for prevention in unique ways! Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA recently enhanced their Prevention Coordinator role to reach its full potential, and Northwest HIDTA piloted delivering their own technical assistance across their region with great results. ADAPT was thrilled to have the opportunity to support them in these activities!

Be sure to review all of the updates, events, and resources below as some really neat events and products are being offered and developed by our partners. 2023 is shaping up to be another extraordinary year for substance use prevention in HIDTA communities thanks to you. We remain inspired by your efforts and look forward to continuing the journey with you.

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

HIDTA Spotlight

Liberty Mid-Atlantic HIDTA Operationalizes the Role of

Prevention Coordinator & Welcomes New Staff in this Position

Led by Director Jeremiah Daley and Deputy Director Brian Michael, the Liberty Mid-Atlantic (LMA) HIDTA connected with ADAPT in August 2021 to support them in recruiting for a Prevention Coordinator position. Director Daley and Deputy Director Michael expressed interest in optimizing the key functions and duties of this position to reflect important concepts and skills including community engagement, integration of evidence-based strategies, and awareness and understanding of both public health and public safety cultures.

The ADAPT team proposed important considerations informed by the goals LMA HIDTA identified for the position and supported development of a draft job description. In December 2022, LMA HIDTA re-engaged ADAPT as they initiated the applicant selection process to generate sample interview questions that would draw out an applicant’s approach to the key responsibilities of the position. The following interview assessment criteria were identified as particularly salient abilities for the role of an LMA HIDTA Prevention Coordinator:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the spectrum of substance use prevention.
  2. Develop a process for facilitating cross-sector collaboration that leverages the strengths of other prevention partners in achieving shared substance use prevention goals.
  3. Outline a step-by-step process for creating a community needs assessment.
  4. Appraise and share evidence-based strategies for substance use prevention across the LMA HIDTA region.

During the final applicant review process, LMA HIDTA utilized ADAPT technical assistance to identify crucial characteristics demonstrated by the interview candidates to assist with a final selection and job offer.

Join us in welcoming Terez Hunter, LMA HIDTA’s new Prevention Coordinator. Terez holds a Master of Social Work degree from Widener University and has over twenty years of experience working in the field of child welfare and with an adolescent and adult dual diagnosis population. Her extensive experience with at-risk youth and families impacted by drug use gives her a great appreciation for preventing substance use initiation and promoting protective measures early in youth development. On just her second day on the job, Terez was included in a meeting of the Camden County New Jersey Addiction Task Force and is well on her way in establishing the connections necessary for success in her new position.

Terez will join a discussion group facilitated by ADAPT for new HIDTA Prevention Coordinators to receive mentoring and support as she embarks on her new role!


Northwest HIDTA Brings Technical Assistance for

Fundamental Skill Development to its Area

In the October 2022 issue of the Prevention Post, Northwest (NW) HIDTA was featured for their work in creating a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy for their region. One way in which they operationalized their strategy was to formalize a competitive application and selection process for programs seeking NW HIDTA treatment and prevention funding.

The Request for Proposals (RFP) process was announced on January 18, 2023, but NW HIDTA’s Treatment and Prevention Manager, Eliza Powell, wanted to do something more for her area. She wanted to support current grantees, future applicants, and other prevention and treatment organizations in the NW HIDTA area in their growth and development of evaluation skills. She approached this level of support by reaching out to ADAPT to guide her through launching a technical assistance workshop on this topic. In December, NW HIDTA held a workshop, which provided a review of core concepts and key steps in the program planning and evaluation process.

Dr. Robert LaChausse, a professor of Health Science and member of the National Prevention Science Coalition, facilitated the training portion of the workshop and covered a broad range of topics related to program planning and evaluation, including developing a logic model, generating goals and SMART objectives, measuring implementation fidelity, evaluating program impact, and reporting results.

The workshop was well recieved by its participants. Over 90% of evaluation respondents reported at least 25% of the information presented was NEW to them. Evaluation and logic model development were the top two topics respondents found most useful. 82% anticipated USING the information they learned!

For more information about this training or any of the NW HIDTA’s treatment and prevention strategies, contact the NW HIDTA team HERE. To read their spotlight in the October 2022 Prevention Post, click HERE.  

Join the MIND the MESSAGE Campaign Today and Increase the Impact of Your Communications in Preventing the Onset and Escalation

of Substance Use in Youth Aged 12-18

There’s still time to join this year’s MIND the MESSAGE Campaign, which launched on January 17th and will conclude in March. Campaign participants receive exclusive access to usable communications strategies supported by the best available evidence on the following topics:

1.     Developing a Communications Plan

2.     Communicating Social Norms

3.     Using Frames Effectively

4.     Mass Media Campaigns

Make your message count. Pledge today HERE!

Come Learn with Us on the HIDTA Prevention Learning Management System!

The HIDTA Prevention Learning Management System launched in Fall 2022 with multiple offerings and more being planned. Objectives from its most popular course, Substance Use Prevention Fundamentals, follow:

  • Designed to help you understand the field of substance use prevention.
  • Defines key prevention concepts and connects HIDTA's mission with the goals of substance use prevention.
  • Introduces critical targets for prevention, explores the ways prevention exists in multiple contexts, and shares what works (and what doesn't) in substance use prevention. 
Register HERE to Access the Course

Prevention Tip

The peer norm is one of the strongest predictors of personal behavior. Youth aged 12-18 overwhelmingly overestimate the number of their peers who use substances. They believe that use is more common than it is and, as a result, are more likely to make choices that align with that misperception (e.g., acceptance or use of substances). The truth is that MOST YOUTH MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES AND DO NOT USE SUBSTANCES. To learn more about social norms interventions to prevent substance use, download ADAPT's new Substance Use Prevention Communications Toolkit.

Mark Your Calendars

UPCOMING WEBINARCollecting and Using Data in Social Norms Interventions and Impact Assessments for Schools and Communities

Learning Objectives:

1. Learn how to extract social norm data from existing survey instruments.

2. Understand how to respond to youth and prevention professionals who are skeptical of data that reveal actual norms and misperceptions.

3. Identify outcomes to look for in a social norms intervention.

4. Understand common mistakes and problems in conducting evaluations of social norms interventions.


H. Wesley Perkins, PhD

Professor of Sociology

Hobart & William Smith Collages


3:00-4:30 PM ET

Register HERE!

Public Health/Public Safety Updates

National Emerging Threats Initiative (NETI)

While it is widely known that fentanyl has been the most lethal illicit drug in the United States for the past several years, the magnitude of other drugs co-occurring with lethal fentanyl exposure is a lesser-known phenomenon. This graph displays fentanyl-only death rates per 100,000 population along with rates for fentanyl fatalities that co-occur with cocaine, psychostimulants (primarily methamphetamine), and heroin for the years 1999 through 2021. In 2021, fifty-four percent (54%) of all fatal fentanyl overdoses also included one of the other three apex drugs. This contamination of fentanyl into other drugs increases the risk of unknown exposure.

The degree of fentanyl fatalities co-occurring with other drugs varies over time and by jurisdiction. This understudied phenomenon deserves additional research and policy attention by federal and state public health officials.1

Multiple Cause of Death Data on CDC WONDER. (n.d.)

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

2021 National Survey of Drug Use and Health (NSDUH)

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) released its 2021 report. The report covers the prevalence of alcohol and other drug use, substance use disorders, mental health treatment, and substance use treatment across the United States from over 69,000 respondents aged 12 and up. Respondents in the 12 - 20 age range most commonly reported using past month alcohol (15.1%) and vaping nicotine (8.1%). Past month marijuana use was reported by 10.5% of 12-17 year olds and 35.4% of 18-25 year olds. Unlike previous reports, the 2021 report does not discuss trends from previous years due to changes in survey methodology. For more information, review the full report here.

Learn more HERE.

Community Engagement: An Essential Component of an Effective and Equitable Substance Use Prevention System

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has released a new guide highlighting the latest research on community engagement in substance use prevention. Developed for practitioners, administrators, community leaders, and health professions educators, the guide provides practical guidance for implementing and evaluating community engagement strategies and activities.

Download your copy of the guide HERE.

National Guidelines for Child and Youth Behavioral Health Crisis Care

Recognizing the gaps within crisis response systems for youth, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Guidelines for Child and Youth Behavioral Health Crisis Care provides a framework and guidance on how communities can develop or expand their crisis safety net for youth and families. The report discusses best practices, practical guidance, and implementation strategies.

View the report HERE.

National Prevention Week

This annual SAMHSA-sponsored event focuses on increasing public awareness and action for substance use prevention and positive mental health with the goals of involving communities, fostering partnerships, and disseminating substance use prevention and mental health promotion resources. It will take place this year on May 7 - 13th.

*Access materials to support your National Prevention Week activities here.

First Responder Deflection Mentoring Initiative

The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) announced an expansion of their First Responder Deflection Mentoring Initiative, an initiative that provides communities interested in starting or enhancing a deflection program the opportunity to be mentored by established programs. Communities are able to submit an application online to serve as a mentor or to visit a mentor program.

Learn more about first responder deflection, established mentor sites, and applications to participate HERE.

Evidence-Based Prevention Products for Opioids

Five evidence-based substance use prevention products for opioids are now available in 13 different languages. The Addiction Policy Forum, the Mid-America Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and the Ethnic Communities Opioid Response Network partnered to translate the materials, which include a parent workbook, a partner toolkit, and a one-pager on practicing refusal skills.

The products are housed HERE.

Commentary on the Culture of Prevention

To help build support for prevention science, the editors of the Prevention Science journal put out a call to explore and define the “culture of prevention.” The published commentary discusses the culture of prevention across various contexts, explores relevant concepts, literature, and frameworks, and identifies a few challenges and opportunities in adopting a culture of prevention.

The commentary can be read HERE.

Sedentary Youth Have Heightened Risk of Developing Cannabis Use Disorder

An article published by the American Psychological Association provides an overview of a longitudinal study on how physical activity and substance use during adolescence influences the risk of developing cannabis use disorder as an adult. The study showed that lack of physical activity in adolescence significantly increased the risk of developing cannabis use disorder in adulthood.

Learn more about this research HERE.

To be notified of upcoming webinars, products, and events, subscribe here!
The ADAPT Team
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