Do prevention efforts work?

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Health Promotion: There is growing evidence that key conditions among families, neighborhoods, and communities, help or hurt healthy Mental, Emotional and Behavioral (MEB)  development, including environmental, biological, and behavioral factors. 

Prevention: We also know that the following prevention efforts have been researched proven to work:

  • Universal - Addresses the entire population; enhances public engagement in promotion for those at risk and those who are not.

  • Selective - Addresses community members who are at higher risk.  

  • Indicated - Addresses people who are exhibiting early signs of problem behaviors

Research is proving that multiple levels of effort can be layered to improve the Mental, Emotional and Behavioral health of children and youth.

Meaningful improvements in Mental, Emotional and Behavioral health are within reach if efforts are supported and sustained, if available resources across sectors are coordinated around carefully defined shared goals, and if concerted attention is paid to the challenges of scaling up promising health promotion and disorder prevention strategies at the universal, selective, and indicated levels. To learn more, click here:

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 Research over the past several decades has given us proven strategies for preventing substance abuse. Since 2006, the Prevention Coalition has implemented these best practices. As a result, we've seen these results in Jefferson County:


  • Youth 30-day alcohol consumption has dropped from 39.9% of 11th-grade students in 2009 to 28.5% in 2015.

  • Juvenile Justice Youth Referrals for Alcohol Crimes dropped from 19 in 2009 to just 9 in 2015.

  • Juvenile Justice Youth Referrals for Minor in Possession dropped from 35 in 2009 to 14 in 2015.


Good News:

  • 71% of Jefferson County 11th-grade students have not consumed alcohol in the past 30 days, according to the 2015 Healthy Teens Survey.

  • 78% of  Jefferson County 11th-grade students say that their parents disapprove of underage drinking.

  • 85% of 11th-grade students say their parents disapprove of youth marijuana use.



  • Our Student Survey, conducted in the summer of 2016, told us that 62.5% of youth who drank alcohol in the last 30 days got alcohol from home.

  • In 2014, 8.0% of 6th-grade, 32.3% of 8th-grade, and 65.1% of 11th-grade students reported that alcohol was easy to get.

  • In 2014, 11.2% of 6th-grade students, 24.5% of 8th-grade students, and 62.4% of 11th-grade students reported if they wanted to get marijuana, it would be “very easy.”

  • Only a median 79%  of 6th, 8th and 11th grade students report a great or moderate perception of risk in using prescription drugs not prescribed to them.


The Jefferson County Prevention Coalition consists of:


  • Youth leaders

  • Parents

  • Business community

  • Media

  • Schools

  • Youth serving agencies

  • Law Enforcement

  • Faith community members

  • Healthcare

  • Local government 

  • Local organizations

The Coalition meets each month to raise levels of awareness among youth and adults in our community about the risks of youth marijuana and alcohol use, and prescription medication misuse and abuse. We are guided by our Youth Leaders, who play a leadership role in planning and implementing prevention efforts.