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Substance Abuse Prevention and Control


Substance Abuse Prevention and Control

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The Prevention Program is responsible for program planning, development, implementation, and evaluation for Substance Abuse Prevention and Control’s (SAPC) contracted substance abuse prevention contracts.

Prevention System of Services
SAPC’s Prevention System of Services is comprised of a network of community-based organizations implementing evidence-based community- and individual-level services to address SAPC’s Goals and Objectives. Prevention contractors determine which of the County’s Goals and Objectives are of greatest priority in their target city(ies) and/or community(ies) based on data gathered during a local needs assessment and by implementing the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) Steps: Assessment, Capacity, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation.

SAPC’s Goals:
To reduce underage and binge drinking, marijuana, methamphetamine, ecstasy, prescription medication, over-the-counter (OTC), and inhalant use/misuse among youth and young adults residing in cities and communities in Los Angeles County.

SAPC’s Objectives:
To reduce the access, availability, social norms, and community conditions that contribute to use and misuse of these priority substances within cities and communities in Los Angeles County.
  • Access refers to the ability to obtain the substance. In retail settings, access can be restricted by implementing policies and procedures such as checking IDs to ensure patrons are at least 21 years old and by refusing sales to patrons displaying signs of intoxication. In a social setting, such as a private residence, access can be reduced by monitoring alcohol, OTC, and prescription drug supplies; not providing alcohol to those under the age of 21 years; not allowing underage drinking to occur at the residence; and discouraging continued drinking for guests displaying signs of intoxication.
  • Availability refers to the physical existence of the substance in the community. Alcohol is available in venues such as licensed outlets, both on-sale (restaurants/bars) and off-sale (grocery/liquor stores); private residences; and public venues such as fairs and sports arenas. Alcohol outlet density is often seen as an indicator of availability in a community. Other legal drugs, such as OTCs and prescriptions are available in venues such as retail outlets (pharmacies, grocery stores) as well as private residences.
  • Social Norms refer to the expected, approved, and/or established attitudes and behaviors around an issue, in this case AOD use. Social norms can vary based on geography (among nations, states, or cities) and/or membership with a specific group (race/ethnicity, gender, age), and can change over time. Factors such as family attitudes and behaviors, media (movies, music, advertising), and the absence or presence of laws, regulations, and policies, contribute to how individuals perceive and respond to established social norms, and whether they change over time. Decreasing favorable attitudes around experimentation and/or use of AOD can lead to changes in acceptability of use and subsequently community norms.
  • Community Conditions refer to the social, economic, and environmental factors that influence the health of individuals and communities, in this case AOD use. Addressing the specific environmental and social conditions such as the built environment (deteriorating or dilapidated buildings, unkempt streets or sidewalks, poorly lit areas, availability of parks), social networks/support, and community cohesion that influence AOD availability, accessibility, and community norms can ultimately lead to decreased use and ideally improved health.
The Prevention System of Services includes eight Environmental Prevention Services (EPS) contracts, 34 Comprehensive Prevention Services (CPS) contracts, and one Friday Night Live (FNL) contract.
  • Environmental Prevention Services (EPS) contractors address alcohol availability and accessibility through environmental efforts that change policies, ordinances, and practices that facilitate alcohol use within the target Service Planning Area (a specific geographical region in Los Angeles County). EPS programs generally work with local citizens and leaders, government officials, and businesses/organizations to change local conditions that contribute to alcohol use.
  • Comprehensive Prevention Services (CPS) contractors seek to 1) change the local conditions that facilitate alcohol and drug use, 2) identify individuals who could benefit from prevention services or contribute to prevention efforts, and 3) change the knowledge and behaviors of youth and adults that contribute to community norms about alcohol and drug use. Depending on the program, services may focus on individual-level activities such as school-based prevention classes, or on community-level services such as making changes to the local environment or changing policies/practices that contribute to substance use and/or favorable norms around use.
  • Friday Night Live (FNL) contractors build partnerships for positive, healthy youth development and engage youth as active leaders, mentors, and advocates in county and statewide efforts to reduce access to and availability of alcohol and other drugs. Services are provided through the Los Angeles County Office of Education in various middle schools and high schools. Youth-adult partnership activities include educating policy-making officials, providing safe social outlets for youth, and hosting trainings and conferences on varying issues from leadership to social factors that contribute to substance abuse.
To find out more information about SAPC’s Prevention System of Services, please contact a Prevention Services Provider directly or contact SAPC for assistance at

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