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,


Building a prevention infrastructure that is reliable, effective, nimble, and can stand the test of time is not easy. This issue of The Prevention Post spotlights two HIDTAs in different phases of infrastructure development: one that has engaged a systematic approach to create its foundation and another that is yielding the fruits of its labor and organizing task forces to address specific issues in its communities. Details on their approaches are included below along with a special opportunity for you to learn about the fundamentals of youth substance use prevention, apply new ways of thinking, and utilize tools for developing your own community strategy and plan. 


The first Youth Substance Use Prevention Institute is being hosted by the Rocky Mountain HIDTA and Washington/Baltimore HIDTA’s ADAPT on May 17th and 18th in Denver, Colorado (a virtual option is also available). Workshops at the Institute will synthesize essential components and considerations when characterizing the needs of a community, developing a strategy, building capacity, implementing action items, and evaluating the impact. Registration for the Institute is FREE to allow as many access to the content as possible. See below for the registration link.


Staying abreast of the latest research and resources available to you is important, so a variety of updates from over the last quarter are also included. Take your time going through them, as there are several new tools you might find useful! As always, thank you for doing and promoting the hard work of prevention. 

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

HIDTA Spotlights

Oregon/Idaho HIDTA Uses Systematic Approach to Develop Their Prevention Infrastructure

Led by Director Chris Gibson and Deputy Director Ned Walls, the Oregon/Idaho HIDTA engaged ADAPT in October of 2022 to support them in developing an infrastructure for prevention within their HIDTA. Oregon/Idaho HIDTA has contributed funding to a variety of prevention initiatives across their region over the past few years, but they were interested in developing a systematic approach to understanding the substance use prevention needs across their region, identifying evidence-based strategies, and supporting the implementation and evaluation of those strategies. ADAPT led them through a series of discussions eliciting their strengths, values, resources, key stakeholders, and interests. These discussions resulted in the following four objectives in which to ground their prevention initiative, which will become a part of the Oregon/Idaho HIDTA Strategy:

  1. Understand substance use prevention needs across the Oregon-Idaho region.
  2. Establish and maintain partnerships with key stakeholders across the Oregon-Idaho region.
  3. Facilitate communication and information sharing among law enforcement and community-based organizations.
  4. Translate substance use prevention science for community partners.
  5. Promote evidence-based or innovative substance use prevention interventions.

Oregon/Idaho HIDTA reviewed a comprehensive needs assessments conducted by a local university to identify the type and range of strategies underway across different prevention-involved organizations. To support the process described above, ADAPT provided Oregon/Idaho HIDTA with a prevention planning document that outlined a framework for a comprehensive prevention strategy. Key elements of the planning document include: understanding the vision and mission of the HIDTA, determining the funding and resources available to support substance use prevention efforts, identifying the staff positions most suitable to engage in prevention efforts, determining where the leadership and staff felt they could have the greatest impact in supporting a comprehensive prevention strategy, and linking the HIDTA’s individual strategic prevention goals to the National HIDTA Prevention Strategy. Moving forward, Oregon/Idaho HIDTA will now rely on this infrastructure to support them in making informed decisions to address prevention gaps across their region.

San Diego/Imperial Valley HIDTA Organizes a Task Force to Identify Interventions for Substance Use and Overdose Prevention among Adolescents

The San Diego/Imperial Valley HIDTA (SDI HIDTA), led by Director David King and Deputy Director Ralph Partridge, has been working to prevent substance use initiation and overdose deaths, specifically among adolescents, by developing a comprehensive, multi-sector approach to substance use and overdose prevention. Aimee Hendle, the Drug Demand Reduction Coordinator for the SDI HIDTA, has been spearheading these efforts and has effectively engaged community stakeholders in strategic conversations to support these goals.

A critical activity in developing their prevention approach was the creation of a Task Force comprised of representatives from SDI HIDTA, San Diego County’s District Attorney’s Office, Office of Education, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), National Guard CounterDrug program, and Center for Community Research. The Task Force identified the following three critical goals to support their efforts:

  1. Discuss essential considerations for developing a comprehensive substance use and overdose prevention plan for San Diego County.
  2. Identify evidence-based interventions to respond to emerging drug threats in SDI HIDTA.
  3. Integrate life skills, healthy decision making, and overall wellbeing interventions into middle schools and high schools.

ADAPT provided training on how to understand and appraise research, contextual, and experiential evidence to identify interventions that would be feasible, usable, and acceptable in their school districts. ADAPT also developed an evidence brief that summarized the multiple curriculum-based interventions that were discussed to support their decision-making process. The Task Force is now working to share what was learned through the process with key stakeholders and decision makers with plans of implementing the interventions this fall. 

Prevention Tip

"Research has shown that second to parents, the climate of the school provides the strongest protective factor to support positive youth development. A positive climate can provide a protective environment that is powerful in buffering students from risk taking regardless of their out of school environments."1

To learn more about this work, including a model for how schools can support substance use prevention by serving as protective influences in students’ lives, register for the Youth Substance Use Prevention Institute (see details below in Mark Your Calendars).

1 Bosworth, Kris. 2000, Protective Schools: Linking Drug Abuse Prevention with Student Success. A Guide for Educators, Policy Makers, and Families.

Mark Your Calendars

Youth Substance Use Prevention Institute

For Public Safety & Public Health

Rocky Mountain HIDTA is partnering with Washington/Baltimore HIDTA and ADAPT to deliver the first Youth Substance Use Prevention Institute for HIDTA communities. 

PURPOSE: To support public safety and public health professionals in engaging in substance use prevention activities with youth.


  • An enhanced way of thinking about opportunities for youth substance use prevention.
  • Ideas for how public safety and public health can work together to address community prevention needs.
  • Clear understanding of fundamental prevention principles to inform your approach.
  • Action items for building or enhancing a community substance use prevention strategy.


Up to 10.75 FREE NAADAC Continuing Education Units Available!

WORKSHOPS! Start Building Your Prevention System

MAY 17-18, 2023 in Denver, CO

Virtual Option Available

Register 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

Prevention Research Center Implementation Toolbox 

The Prevention Research Center at Colorado State University has launched a new Implementation Toolbox website that houses a variety of resources to guide program implementation. The website is designed to accommodate staff with various levels of implementation experience. Resources and guidance are provided for how to monitor fidelity, when to consider making adaptations, and how to make adaptations.

The toolbox is available HERE.

Fentanyl Combined with Xylazine Designated as an Emerging Threat

In April, the Biden-Harris administration and The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) officially designated fentanyl with xylazine as an emerging threat to the U.S. From 2020 – 2021, the presence of xylazine rose across the U.S. from 7% - 193% with an increase in overdose deaths associated with xylazine rising 104% - 1,127% depending on region. A national response plan is being developed that will include evidence-based prevention, treatment, and supply reduction.

View the announcement HERE.

Public Safety-led Community-oriented Overdose Prevention Efforts Toolkit

The Public Safety-led Community-oriented Overdose Prevention Efforts (PS-COPE) Toolkit is a toolkit from The National Council for Mental Wellbeing that outlines a new approach to overdose prevention and response for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities. The toolkit describes how public safety agencies and their communities will benefit from the approach and provides tools for integration into existing overdose efforts.

The toolkit can be downloaded HERE.

Substance Use Prevention Services in Primary Care Challenge

The National Institute on Drug Abuse is launching a challenge in May that seeks innovative, actionable plans to implement substance use prevention interventions in primary care. The ultimate goal is to identify ways in which primary care practices can identify people who are at-risk for substance use and to help prevent substance use initiation and escalation. Winners will receive an award of up to $25,000.

The challenge can be found HERE.

Alcohol Awareness Toolkit 

For National Alcohol Awareness Month in April, the Prevention Technology Transfer Center Network released their Alcohol Awareness Toolkit. The toolkit aims to raise awareness about alcohol-related harms and stresses the importance of strong alcohol policies.

The toolkit materials can be found HERE.

Naloxone Nasal Spray Approved for Over-the-Counter

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved naloxone (Narcan) nasal spray for over-the-counter use. Naloxone is used to reverse an opioid overdose, and this is the first naloxone product to be made available without a prescription. The approval will help increase the availability of naloxone.

The news release can be found HERE.

Internet Access as a Determinant of Health

Internet access has been identified as a “super determinant” of health due to its role in health outcomes and its influence on other determinants, such as education and employment. An estimated 19 million individuals in the U.S. do not have access to reliable internet.

To learn more and see current efforts in expanding internet access, visit the SAMHSA website HERE.

Expanded Naloxone Access is Not Associated with Increased Heroin Use in Adolescents 

A study focused on 15 – 18 year olds by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health found that the adoption of laws to improve naloxone access and facilitate use was not associated with changes in adolescent lifetime heroin or injection drug use. Expanded access was more consistently associated with decreases in use, rather than increases. This study challenges the concern that naloxone access might inadvertently increase opioid misuse and overdose.

Learn more 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 7th - 13th.

Access materials to support your National Prevention Week activities HERE.

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