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What are the 7 Strategies for Effective Community Change?

As coalition leaders, you know that:

  • There is no one silver bullet or single strategy to prevent teen Rx drug use.
  • No single policy change will magically stop the misuse of these medications.
  • No one curriculum or program can eliminate Rx drug abuse in your community.
  • It takes many coordinated strategies to change specific behaviors.

Coalitions and communities can be more successful in achieving community-level change related to preventing prescription drug abuse when their strategies are part of a comprehensive plan that targets individual youth and adults and also impacts the shared community environment in which we live. Our goals are to create strategies that empower youth to make healthy decisions, as well as create family, school and community environments that promote and support healthy decision making by youth. Translating these goals into on-the-ground strategies means to create interventions that:

  • Impact the availability of prescription drugs.
  • Change community norms around prescription drug misuse and addiction.
  • Reinforce the importance of policies and practices that can prevent Rx drug abuse.

There are seven strategies typically used by coalitions to change individual behaviors and community conditions. These are commonly referred to as CADCA’s Seven Strategies for Effective Community Change. These strategies include:

  1. Provide Information
  2. Enhance Skills
  3. Provide Support
  4. Change Access / Barriers
  5. Change Consequences, Incentives/Disincentives
  6. Change Physical Design
  7. Modify & Change Policies

This toolkit fully describes these strategies and provides specific examples of ways in which they are implemented by coalitions and communities to address Rx medicine abuse.