What We Do

We strive to be a connector for all youth substance use prevention efforts in Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties.
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What is Prevention?

Prevention is using upstream thinking to make community-wide changes that protect kids early on. Prevention work reduces risk factors that contribute to youth substance use while increasing factors known to protect youth and build resilience. Prevention efforts serve as a catalyst to increase participation and collaboration among all sectors of a community. Learn What Works and What Doesn’t in prevention.

Research shows a connected community is a safe and healthy community.

We strive to be a connector for all youth substance use prevention efforts in Clark, Klickitat and Skamania counties. Prevent consists of members from the entire southwest region and amplifies our regional readiness for conducting prevention strategies. With Prevent Rural, we also connect community members and unite the prevention community in rural areas across Washington.

To do this, we involve parents, youth, schools, media, business, government, faith communities, law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and other prevention organizations. This approach ensures our interventions are comprehensive and strategic. Each sector provides unique perspectives and knowledge to share.

12 Community Sectors

History of Prevention in Washington State

Compiled by: Mary Segawa, Julie Peterson, Liz Wilhelm and Joy Lyons, WASAVP members


The focus early on is less on best practices and more on personal judgment about what is believed to work. There aren’t many ‘best practices’ on which to rely.


Congress passes the Drug-Free Schools Act.


The Washington State Legislature passes the Omnibus Substance Abuse Bill, creating the Violence Reduction and Drug Enforcement (VRDE) Account funding to combat youth and adult drug and alcohol use.


Community Mobilization is established by the legislature and funded in every county. Many use the Risk and Protective Factor Model.


Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse is established by Executive Order of Governor Booth Gardner.

Late 1980s

The Strengthening Families Program is developed and Communities that Care is implemented. Groundbreaking research from Drs. Hawkins and Catalano identifies Social Development Model and Risk and Protective Factor Theory for preventing adolescent drug and alcohol use.


Prevention groups begin to rely on a national registry of evidence-based practices.


Congress passes the Drug-Free Communities Act, making $10 million available with 92 original grantees nationally.


The Tobacco Master Settlement (MSA) Agreement is entered between the four largest US tobacco companies and the attorney generals of 46 states. The original participating manufacturers (OPM) agreed to pay a minimum of $206 billion over the first 25 years of the agreement. It also imposed sales and marketing restrictions.


Three Washington communities awarded grants from the DrugFree Communities Act.


More emphasis is placed on the development of logic models and showing outcomes/results. Cultural competency emerges as a focus.


$100 million in MSA funds for tobacco prevention is deposited into the Tobacco Prevention and Control Account.


Washington Association of Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention (WASAVP) is formed to elevate prevention efforts with policy makers at the state level. A part-time lobbyist is also hired.


The Certified Prevention Professional (CPP) credential emerges in Washington State.


Washington Coalition to Reduce Underage Drinking (RUaD) is launched.


The Federal Sober Truth on Preventing Underage Drinking (STOP) STOP Act is signed, funding $50,000 per grantee per year for 4 years.


Safe and Drug Free Communities and Schools funding is eliminated resulting in a loss of $294.8 million dollars of funding nationwide.


Governor’s Council on Substance Abuse is eliminated, reducing the broader state focus on prevention.


Prevention groups continue to adjust Late 1980s with the passage of Initiative 502.


MSA funds for tobacco prevention are depleted.


Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR) launches the Community Prevention and Wellness Initiative (CPWI).


Initiative 1183 privatized alcohol spirits sales, moving sales from state-run stores to private stores over 10,000 square feet in size.


Initiative 502 passes, allowing for the production and retail sales of marijuana in Washington State to those 21 and over and sets possession limits.


SB 5052 passes, integrating medical marijuana production and sales with the State’s retail system.


Dedicated marijuana account is established providing funding for prevention, treatment, research, and health in Washington State.