“The risky use of substances and addiction are the largest and most costly preventable health problems in the United States, yet they are not adequately addressed in health care practice. These conditions cause and contribute to more than 70 conditions requiring medical care, including cancer, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, and mental illness, and account for nearly one third of all hospital inpatient costs and more than 20% of deaths in the United States.”1 

ASAM supports a wide variety of harm reduction prevention strategies to prevent alcohol- and other drug-related problems in contemporary society, understanding that carefully thought out prevention measures have demonstrably reduced the early onset of alcohol, nicotine, and other drug use and addiction in some populations and contributed to a reduction in deaths and serious injury resulting from drug-related illnesses and accidents. 

Keeping current with clinical best practices for effective prevention is interwoven throughout competencies of board certified addiction physicians.

Prevention strategies focus on offering a combination of approaches such as: providing scientifically sound education for all segments of society about the nature and causes of addiction, encouraging controls on the availability, advertising, and promotion of tobacco and alcohol, as well as controlling the quality, distribution, and availability of psychoactive drugs.

1Herron, Abigail J., and Timothy Brennan. The ASAM essentials of addiction medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer, 2015. Print. Purchase for $4.99: 


Below there are links to prevention resources that might be beneficial to individuals working in a medical or non-medical role in the fields of preventive or addiction medicine.


Prescription Drug & Opioid Misuse & Overdose Prevention

Children & Adolescents