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How can students and counselor interns strengthen their skills in prevention?

By Contributor: Frank G. Magourilos, MPS, CPS, ICPS

It is a very daunting task in trying to most succinctly answer the question of; “How can students and counselor interns strengthen their skills in prevention?”

The reason for this is that Prevention Science is a relatively new field that takes a very interdisciplinary approach and utilizes theories and models from other more well-known sciences such as psychology, sociology, and systems thinking.

Perhaps the best way to start answering the above question is to first offer a brief overview of the national organizations that provide leadership in the field of Prevention.  By doing so, this would hopefully provide rich, content specific, information from credible sources in the field of evidence-based prevention that in turn students and counselor interns would look to for improving their collective Prevention IQ:

1.      SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, http://www.samhsa.gov/, provides leadership and devotes its resources – programs, policies, information and data, contracts and grants- toward helping the Nation act on the knowledge that: Behavioral Health is essential for health; Prevention works; Treatment is effective; and People recover from mental and substance use disorders.  Within SAMHSA there is the best little known secret Department that everyone who is involved in any form of Behavioral Health Prevention needs to know about and utilize its free resources.

2.      SAMHSA’s Collaborative for the Application of Prevention Technologies (CAPT) is a national substance abuse prevention training and technical assistance (T/TA) system dedicated to strengthening prevention systems and the nation’s behavioral health workforce. For information on other prevention resources, please visit http://www.samhsa.gov/prevention.  More on this gem at later blogs.

3.      Yet another critical prevention component of SAMHSA is the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, NREPP http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/, NREPP is a searchable online registry of mental health and substance abuse interventions that have been reviewed and rated by independent reviewers.

The purpose of this registry is to assist the public in identifying scientifically based approaches to preventing and treating mental and/or substance use disorders that can be readily disseminated to the field. NREPP is one way that SAMHSA is working to improve access to information on tested interventions and thereby reduce the lag time between the creation of scientific knowledge and its practical application in the field.

4.      Another national and important player in Prevention is NIDA; the National Institute on Drug Abuse http://www.drugabuse.gov/, NIDA’s mission is to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction.

This charge has two critical components. The first is the strategic support and conduct of research across a broad range of disciplines. The second is ensuring the rapid and effective dissemination and use of the results of that research to significantly improve prevention and treatment and to inform policy as it relates to drug abuse and addiction.

There are many more national prevention players that have influence, researched resources, and other capacity building tools, but we will stay with the above for now.

I would like for you to go to all of the Websites above and start looking at what is available and start to familiarize yourself with national models, programs, and practices in prevention science.

In future blogs we will narrow our focus and explore specific prevention models and practices that represent the foundational building blocks of evidence-based prevention.

I hope I stirred your interest in prevention…till next time…

Be well,

Frank G. Magourilos, MPS, CPS, ICPS
email: preventionworks@msn.com
website: http://www.nmcbbhp.org/

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About Samantha DeLint-Neely

Hi! I am the author of LCDC Exam Review, and online study guide for the Alcohol and Drug Counselor certification exam. Check out my blog and Youtube channel, where you can find short lessons to help you prepare for the LCDC, CAD, CADC, CSAC, ADC exams. Learn more about me by visiting my LinkedIn profile. I successfully passed the IC&RC ADC exam in May 2013, on my first attempt!

One comment on “How can students and counselor interns strengthen their skills in prevention?

  1. Reblogged this on All Things Substance Abuse Counseling and commented:

    Prevention works. Substance abuse counseling is not only about treatment and recovery; it is also about educating people of the harms and consequences of abusing and misusing substances. This approach is part of a fairly new science called Prevention.

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