Prevention Principles - National Institute of Health

  • March 30, 2016
  • Topic Addiction
  • Type Article

This is a link to a 49 page online booklet that outlines prevention principles for parents, teachers and community leaders. These principles are intended to help parents, educators, and community leaders think about, plan for, and deliver research-based drug abuse prevention programs at the community level. The references following each principle are representative of current research.  Below is an exerpt from the booklet: 

Risk Factors and Protective Factors

Principle 1 - Prevention programs should enhance protective factors and reverse or reduce risk factors.

  • The risk of becoming a drug abuser involves the relationship among the number and type of risk factors (e.g., deviant attitudes and behaviors) and protective factors (e.g., parental support).
  • The potential impact of specific risk and protective factors changes with age. For example, risk factors within the family have greater impact on a younger child, while association with drug-abusing peers may be a more significant risk factor for an adolescent.
  • Early intervention with risk factors (e.g., aggressive behavior and poor self-control) often has a greater impact than later intervention by changing a child’s life path (trajectory) away from problems and toward positive behaviors.
  • While risk and protective factors can affect people of all groups, these factors can have a different effect depending on a person’s age, gender, ethnicity, culture, and environment.
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