Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programs

The Office of Drug & Alcohol (D&A) utilizes a public health approach to coordinate efforts to promote healthy behaviors among youth and their families. The Spectrum of Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Interventions is the prevention science utilized as the basis of the County’s prevention program. Prevention services fall under promotion and prevention in the below scale:

DA Spectrum

The Office of Drug and Alcohol contracts with various agencies to provide drug and alcohol prevention education and problem gambling prevention in schools and within the community. Programs are offered FREE of charge and are based on the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Needs Assessment.

The needs assessment and strategic planning process is designed to profile population needs, resources and readiness to address needs and gaps. The process involves the collection and analysis of data to define problems within a geographic area. Assessing resources includes identifying service gaps, assessing cultural competence, and identifying the existing prevention infrastructure in the county. It also involves assessing readiness and leadership to implement programs, strategies, policies and practices. Long term and intermediate goals are set and a plan created to address and evaluate progress towards meeting the goals.

SCHOOL-BASED PROGRAMMING

School Districts wishing to access the prevention programming below must participate in the Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS). Data collected from the PAYS and alternative data sources helped to guide the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Needs Assessment process and strategic plan for programming. The most effective programming is evidence-based which is designed to build student’s skills over a series of lessons implemented in the classroom. For more information about Montgomery County-specific data and risk factors used in the County Needs Assessment, download this PAYS Fact Sheet.

Examples of programs implemented in 2018/2019 school year in Montgomery County can be found here. *Please note, this is a list of county-funded programs only.

PARENT EDUCATION

Parent education programs raise awareness and educate about issues affecting youth. The Montgomery County Office of Drug & Alcohol contracts with a qualified agency to deliver evidence-based parent education and one-time presentations for parents in targeted communities. Evidence-based parent programs are designed to enhance skills including setting appropriate limits and building positive relationships with youth.

COMMUNITY PREVENTION

Community-based prevention:

  • Focuses on population health rather than changing individual health and address changes in the social and physical environment,
  • Involves cross-collaboration,
  • Highlights community participation and empowerment,
  • Emphasizes context, or 
  • Includes a systems approach

The Office of Drug & Alcohol supports and empowers community coalitions focused on reducing youth substance use. Through a qualified contractor, D&A is coordinating coalitions at the county level to standardize messaging campaigns and policy change. In addition to supporting current youth-serving groups, D&A is starting new school/community committees in targeted locations to empower certain geographic areas to address societal norms and policies.

STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. SAP is designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program is to help students overcome these barriers so that they may achieve, advance, and remain in school.

Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol has an integrated approach to SAP with the Office of Mental Health. Through braided funding, one SAP agency delivers mental health SAP services and drug and alcohol SAP services to school districts within their assigned region. Best Practice standards are used to develop local policies and procedures followed by these qualified contracted agencies to provide SAP liaison services. For more information about SAP in Montgomery County, download the SAP Brochure.

Students struggling with substance use may be referred to one of the following intervention programs:

SAP liaison services and intervention services are county-funded and available for free up to the state budget allocation for Montgomery County.

For more information, please email SAP@montcopa.org.