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1.  Introduction:  Why Environment Matters cont.

Hence in every domain, by creating or supporting healthy norms, prevention programs help to positively influence the environment within which a child grows and develops.   Karol Kumpfer enumerates critical principles of successful prevention programs.   In order to be effective, prevention must be comprehensive; evidence-based; responsive to the needs, lifestyles, cultures and other characteristics of the participants; well-timed and appropriately-paced; focus on changing behaviors by teaching skills and involving peer role models; and include follow-up. The first principle of successful prevention programming is to be comprehensive, which means that it will target the primary domains and create enduring change in the social environment.  (Kumpfer 2003)

By teaching the child drug resistance skills, social skills, and relevant knowledge, and by modeling and fostering healthy attitudes, the prevention professional and prevention program

impact the individual and her/his environment.    All of the six strategies outlined by CSAP [1] (Hogan, et al. 2003:30-39) aim to achieve a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.  Taken as a group, used in an integrated manner based on the unique characteristics of the community or target audience and their circumstances, these strategies contribute to changing community norms.  

In order to have maximum effectiveness, prevention needs to be carried out with sensitivity and in such a way that behaviors change.  Adding knowledge and changing attitudes are not enough. Behavioral patterns must be broken.  New behaviors must be practiced.   Norms must be altered.   (Kumpfer  [2003])  When prevention professionals select the prevention strategies that are most

[1] The six strategies enumerated by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in The Prevention Primer (1993), elaborated upon by Brounstein, et al (Western CAPT, 1998), and elaborated upon in Hogan, et al., are:  1. Dissemination of Information, 2.  Prevention Education, 3. Alternative Activities, 4. Community-Based Processes, 5.  Environmental Approaches, and 6. Problem Identification and Referral.

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