Do you know how Compass Mark uses the six federal strategies for addiction prevention? December is National Drunk and Drugged Driving Awareness Month, the perfect time for you to familiarize yourself with how prevention is done.

We’ve Simplified this Balancing Act So You Can Tackle It With Ease

Two underage teenagers decide to try alcohol for the first time by stealing a couple bottles from their parents’ liquor cabinet. Both teens are around the same age, have similar body composition and family backgrounds, and have chosen to make the same poor decision. The end result for each of them, however, is completely different. Teen A feels disconnected, nauseous and complains of a severe headache the next day. Teen B feels great, experiences no unpleasant physical symptoms and is interested in trying a little more next time.

If Teen A and Teen B are so similar, why did their experiences differ?

The individuals process chemicals like alcohol differently, which stems from the genetics of their parents. Teen A was born with a built-in protection from addiction which made her body respond adversely to the chemical. This may leave her asking herself: Why would I want to feel this way again? Teen B was born with a genetic predisposition that places him at a higher risk for addiction.

At Compass Mark, we consider not only genetics, but also indi­vidual risk factors for addiction including childhood trauma, phys­ical/sexual abuse, favorable parental attitudes toward substance abuse, academic failure, and poor neighborhood attachment, among other factors.

When you think of prevention, think of a balance scale. Adding pennies to one side of the scale may change the balance only slightly, but each penny added served an important purpose of tipping the scale one way or another.

We can’t change an individual’s genetic predisposition to addiction, but we can counteract it by infusing their lives with protective factors.

The 6 Strategies for Addiction Prevention

Every single program at Compass Mark addresses at least one of the six proven strategies for addiction prevention developed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Information Dissemination: Utilizing materials such as brochures/ presentations to provide knowledge on the nature and extent of alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse and addiction.

Education: Establishing a curriculum with a set number of lessons utilizing two-way communication, and skills like decision-making, refusal skills, and managing emotions.

Alternative Activities: Using resources like post-prom parties and community centers for youth to engage youth in fun, drug-free activities to prevent the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

Problem Identification & Referral: Creating Student Assistance Programs, as well as hotlines, to target people who have experimented with alcohol, tobacco, and other to see if their behavior can be reversed through education.

Community-Based Process: Involving coalitions such as Mothers Against Destructive Decisions and training community volunteers to help with activities.

Environmental: Increasing tobacco taxes and billboard campaigns to establish or change written and unwritten community standards, codes, ordinances, and attitudes, therefore lowering usage.

Headline: Have you seen Compass Mark’s most recent Annual Report?

Compass Mark has published the Annual Report for the 2016-2017 Fiscal Year! The Annual Report gives you the below information and more!

  • The number of people impacted by program
  • Selected outcomes by program
  • Donors and Volunteers
  • A financial summary from July 1, 2016 to July 30, 2017

Click here to view Compass Mark’s Annual Report!