NH DHHS - Ten Regional Strategic Prevention Plans Completed

Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

(DHHS) Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services (BDAS) is excited to announce

the completion of ten Regional Network Strategic Plans developed to address

substance abuse prevention across the State. Collectively Regions engaged

over 2,507 stakeholders in forums and planning meetings to complete the

community-level data driven planning process in the production of these


“We know that alcohol and other drug problems, particularly non-medical use

of prescription pain medication, use of marijuana as well as underage and

binge drinking, are creating significant issues for individuals, families

and communities across the state,” said BDAS Director Joe Harding. “To

give you just one example, for the first time prescription drug related

deaths (174 in 2010) have outpaced all traffic related fatalities over the

past two years. I commend each of the regional networks in developing these

plans that will address the particular issues for each of these 10 regions

covering every area of the state.”

The development of these plans has been a collaborative effort involving

the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, along with support from the

Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention, Intervention

and Treatment. The plans focus on alcohol and other drug prevention

efforts at a regional level over the next several years, and will be

incorporated into the State’s larger alcohol and other drug policy and

services plan.

Historically substance abuse prevention efforts in New Hampshire consisted

of educational and one-time events that had limited impact on prevention

substance misuse and disorders. As the field has evolved, it has adopted a

public health approach to substance use prevention. Effective substance

efforts must be comprehensive; in that, they must include multiple types of

prevention efforts as prevention needs to reach all levels of society. It

has been proven that data-driven and community-based prevention is more


In 2005 New Hampshire received a Federal grant from Substance Abuse and

Mental Health Services administration for the Strategic Prevention

Framework. BDAS then launched a Regional approach to preventing Substance

abuse across the State. In 2007, the State contracted with ten Regional

coalitions, which was the genius of the prevention structure and approach.

Prevention groups have been working for the past year to develop a local

community based plan that will address Prevention issues within their

Region. As a collective the following substances are prioritized within

strategic plan: marijuana, underage and binge drinking, and non-medical

prescription drug use. Visit:

http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bdas/prevention.htm#plans to view the

three-year Regional Network Strategic Plans.