Prevention professionals can choose from many types of strategies and interventions available to help address substance use issues. Among these are efforts to support and implement policies designed to reduce the likelihood of substance use. Policies can take many different forms, from federal laws to local regulations and ordinances. All of them, however, seek to reduce community and societal risk factors for substance use and strengthen protective factors. Implementing appropriate policies can have many strengths, including being a means to address inequities and reduce health disparities. However, they can also come with several drawbacks compared to other types of prevention interventions. As such, they should be implemented as part of a comprehensive approach to prevention. Part one of this two-part webinar series will describe the importance of policy change for advancing substance use prevention outcomes. While part two of the series will review the steps prevention professionals can take to support and improve policy change.
This webinar will summarize what prevention professionals can do to help develop or change policies that will advance substance use prevention goals, including to address inequities and reduce health disparities. It will identify and discuss the mechanisms by which policy change can occur. As part of this, the webinar will also review the collaborative partners that prevention professionals will need to work with to enact policy change, including elected officials and regulatory agencies. It will discuss the importance of advocacy as a tool for collaborating with these partners and the vital distinctions between advocacy and lobbying. The webinar will also review the restrictions on lobbying that federal grantees and non-profit organizations must follow. The webinar will also discuss other steps prevention professionals can take to support successful policy change, such as working with regulatory or enforcement agencies to ensure policy adherence. Lastly, the webinar will offer a small group peer learning discussion opportunity.
By the end of the webinar, participants will be able to: