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Normalization of Prevention Principles and Practices to Reduce Substance Use Disorders Through an Integrated Dissemination and Implementation Framework

Major research breakthroughs over the past 30 years in the field of substance use prevention have served to: (1) enhance understanding of pharmacological effects on the central and peripheral nervous systems and the health and social consequences of use of psychoactive substances, particularly for children and adolescents; (2) delineate the processes that increase vulnerability to or protect from initiation of substance use and progression to substance use disorders (SUDs) and, based on this understanding, (3) develop effective strategies and practices to prevent the initiation and escalation of substance use. The challenge we now face as a field is to “normalize” what we have learned from this research so that it is incorporated into the work of those involved in supporting, planning, and delivering prevention programming to populations around the world, is integrated into health and social service systems, and helps to shape public policies. But we wish to go further, to incorporate these effective prevention practices into everyday life and the mind-sets of the public, particularly parents and educators. This paper reviews the advances that have been made in the field of prevention and presents a framework and recommendations to achieve these objectives generated during several meetings of prevention and implementation science researchers sponsored by the International Consortium of Universities for Drug Demand Reduction (ICUDDR) that guides a roadmap to achieve “normalization.”


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