Welcome to Prevention!

What is Substance Use Prevention?

Substance Abuse Prevention, also known as drug abuse prevention, but currently preferred to as Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Prevention, is a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with drug and alcohol use. Prevention efforts may focus on the individual or their surroundings.

SUD Prevention efforts were typically focused on but are not limited to minors – children and teens.  However, adult prevention efforts are now geared towards parents, guardians, families affected by substance use, senior citizens, college-aged young adults, Veterans and more. Substance typically target by preventive efforts include alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, methamphetamine, club drugs, synthetic, opioids, prescription and over the counter drugs (OTC).

Prevention is not treatment.

Santa Clara County Behavioral Health Prevention Services provides primary prevention services which consist of:

  • Education and Information Dissemination to increase awareness and knowledge of the nature and impact of substance use to individuals, families, and communities.
  • Alternative activities to provide drug-free environments to promote the health and well-being of the communities
  • Community-Based Process that involve organizing community efforts, creating and sustaining collaboratives and coalition building to address local efforts
  • Environmental processes and activities that involve the identification, creation, modification, passage and/or enforcement of written and unwritten codes, legislation, ordinances, policies, and regulations.

These methods are driven a Strategic Prevention Framework which is a 5-step planning process that guides in the selection, implementation, and evaluation of effective culturally appropriate and sustainable prevention activities.


Our vision is to prevent or reduce substance use among youth and adults by providing an array of age-appropriate, culturally competent and researched-based services in the community.  Services aimed to reduce risk factors and strengthen the resilience and protective factors that build healthy communities.

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