Substance Abuse Prevention and Control



Prevention is the use of strategies or programs to change social norms, social conditions, and risky behaviors to minimize substance use initiation before it leads to substance use-associated disorders (addiction). The Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention and Control's (SAPC) Prevention Division oversees primary prevention services throughout Los Angeles County for youth, young adults, and adults. Programs are geared for individuals who have never used, may be at-risk for using, or do not have a current substance use disorder (also known as addiction) or need treatment.

Prevention First: Primary prevention programs provide a comprehensive range of presentations, classes, youth activities, community events, and public health advocacy to prevent community substance use.

To support prevention work the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) developed the Strategic Prevention Framework which includes 5 steps:

Strategic Prevention Framework
  • Assessment
  • Capacity
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Evaluation

Additionally, SAPC's prevention approach uses the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) strategies to improve behavioral health through evidence-based approaches.

Prevention Strategies

Substance use prevention services address both individual and community-level public health issues of drug access and availability, with key strategies targeting risk and protective factors associated with cannabis, alcohol, methamphetamine, and opioid use. In Los Angeles County, these strategies promote community engagement and build capacity at a local level, enhancing the delivery of primary prevention services.

  • STRATEGY 1: Increase Community Education and Awareness Through Positive Youth Development Programs.
    Contact a local prevention provider to learn more.
    • Educating the public on recognizing substance misuse and abuse, including the short-term effects and long-term dangers of substances, is a key tool to reduce use and associated harms. Community education programs include skill-building activities for youth to manage stress and healthy ways to cope, reduce risk, offer alternative activities, and highlight the harms of use.
  • STRATEGY 2: Mobilize Community to Develop Strategies That Address Local Concerns Over Misuse of Substances.
    Contact your local community coalition to learn more.
    • Through coalition-building, collaboration with partners help reduce access and availability among youth and minimize associated harms.
    • Coalitions partner with local community members to develop and enforce policies that minimize substance-related harms, limit outlets that offer substances (if legal), and restrict access to minors.
    • Coalitions engage community members to advocate for safe prescribing and disposal practices, restricted online sales and delivery of substances to minors, advertising and packaging restrictions to minors, safe consumer labeling practices, and increased access to services.
    • In collaboration with elected officials and community leaders, coalitions address the connection between substance-related harms and the community conditions impacting health outcomes. Coalitions support health equity policies that address chronic disinvestment and the social determinants of health.
  • STRATEGY 3: Enhance Data Collection to Assess the Scope of Use in Los Angeles County.
    Click here for SAPC Prevention Data Briefs.
    • Local outlet density reports, environmental scans, and community needs assessments evaluate community needs, strengths, and service gaps. Surveys are analyzed to determine the prevalence of substance use and other problematic behaviors across Los Angeles County, such as drug-seeking behaviors of teens.
    • Through pilot programs, data collection efforts document issues of marijuana smoking in shared spaces, such as multi-unit dwellings, public parks, businesses, and schools. Other programs assess the extent of alcohol availability to minors through local alcohol delivery applications.
  • STRATEGY 4: Launch Countywide Media Campaign to Promote Education And Awareness.
    Click here to view Prevention Media Campaigns.
    • Media campaigns provide countywide awareness and education on priority substances that affect Los Angeles County communities. Media campaigns provide messaging that involve the most relevant forms of media, including a significant call to action.
    • Since 2017, prevention media campaigns cover various topics including marijuana, prescription opioids, methamphetamine, alcohol, and fentanyl. They serve to complement existing prevention efforts by providing parallel messaging in terms of content, tone, and approach.

Community Coalitions

Through coalition-building, collaboration with community partners helps reduce access and availability among youth and minimize associated harms. Each Service Planning Area (SPA) is served by a coalition of community-based providers. Together, they work with other local, county, and state-wide partners, focused on the needs of their specific populations which may have unique cultural and linguistic needs. SPA Coalitions partner with local stakeholders and community members to support efforts that minimize substance-related harms, such as limiting retail outlets that offer substances (if legal) and restrict access to minors. In collaboration with elected officials and community leaders, coalitions address the connection between substance-related harms and the community conditions impacting health outcomes. If you are interested in learning more, please see below.

Service Planning Area (SPA)
SPA-Based Prevention Coalition
Communities Served
Antelope Valley Marijuana, Alcohol, and Pharmaceutical Prevention Coalition (AVMAPP)
Acton, Agua Dulce, Anaverde, Del Sur, Desert View Highlands, Gorman, Lake Hughes, Lake Los Angeles, Lancaster, Leona Valley, Littlerock, Littlerock/Juniper Hills, Littlerock/Pearblossom, Llano, Palmdale, Palmdale Unincorporated, Pearblossom/Llano, Quartz Hill, Sun Village, West Antelope Valley, White Fence Farms, and others.
Communities In Action (CIC)
Burbank, Calabasas, Canoga Park, Canyon Country, Encino, Glendale, LA Cañada-Flintridge, San Fernando, Sherman Oaks, Sun Valley, Van Nuys, Woodland Hills, and others.
RAD logo
Rethinking Alcohol and Other Drugs (RAD)
Alhambra, Altadena, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Claremont, Covina, Diamond Bar, Duarte, El Monte, Glendora, Irwindale, Monrovia, Monterey Park, Pasadena, Pomona, San Dimas, San Gabriel, San Marino, Temple City, Walnut, West Covina, and others.
Coalition for Prevention and Awareness in L.A. Metro (CoPALM)
Echo Park, El Sereno, Hollywood, Mid-City Wilshire, Monterey Hills, Mount Washington, Silverlake, West Hollywood, and Westlake, and others.
WIP logo
Westside Impact Project (WIP)
Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Ladera, Malibu, Mar Vista, Marina del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Playa del Rey, Santa Monica, Venice, West LA, Westchester, Westwood, and others.
SLAM logo
South Los Angeles Movement (SLAM) Prevention Coalition
Athens, Compton, Crenshaw, Florence, Hyde Park, Lynwood, Paramount, and Watts and others.
SECA logo
South East Community Alliance (SECA)
Artesia, Bell, Bellflower, Bell Gardens, Cerritos, City of Commerce, City Terrace, Cudahy, Downey, East Los Angeles, Hawaiian Gardens, Huntington Park, La Habra Heights, Lakewood, La Mirada, Los Nietos, Maywood, Montebello, Norwalk, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, Signal Hill, South Gate, Vernon, Walnut Park, Whittier, and others.
SECA logo
South Bay Communities Creating Change (SBC3)
Athens, Avalon, Carson, Catalina Island, El Segundo, Gardena, Harbor City, Hawthorne, Inglewood, Lawndale, Lennox, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Dominguez, Rancho Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills, Rolling Hills Estates, San Pedro, Torrance, Wilmington, and others.

Finding Services

Community-Based Prevention Network

The community-based prevention network consists of multiple community-based agencies that provide primary prevention services to Los Angeles County residents. Community-based agencies in over 40 locations provide an array of prevention services and interventions throughout LA County serving over 20,000 county residents. Below are some of the services that can be requested.

  • Student educational classes
  • Parent/family educational classes
  • Youth/adult mentorship programs
  • Peer leadership programs
  • Student assistance programs
  • Public health education and awareness activities
  • Parent/guardian presentations and professional trainings
  • Youth-centered community events (i.e. town halls, health fairs, teen summits)
  • Community service events
  • Community needs assessments
  • Coalition-building and public health advocacy
  • Retailer education and engagement
  • Community media campaigns

Click here to find a local Community-based Prevention Provider near you or use the interactive map below.

If you would like to request a presentation on substance use prevention services or on a specific substance, please click here.


Schools play an important part in a child’s life since children spend a majority of their time in these settings and can receive additional support from administrators and peers. Our network of prevention providers offers a variety of services at schools and other community settings to engage and educate youth and young adults.

We also understand the importance of the parental role in the lives of children and youth within Los Angeles County. There are resources available to assist parents, grandparents, caretakers and other trusted adults in knowing how to recognize the dangers and health implications that substances pose to our youth.

Below are resources that can educate and assist with talking to youth regarding the dangers of drug use and how to empower youth in making healthy decisions.

Do's and Don'ts: Talking To Your Kids About Drugs Do's and Don'ts: Talking To Your Kids About Drugs

Get Help Now

Los Angeles County Teen Mental Health Toolkit

Alcohol Prevention

Cannabis Prevention

Methamphetamine Prevention

A majority of our Overdose Prevention resources can be found on our Harm Reduction Unit webpage under the 'Resources' section. Materials help address emerging trends and issues on fentanyl, xylazine, and naloxone trainings, presentations, and resources.

Prevention Media Campaigns

Other Resources

National Crisis Text Line
Connect with a volunteer Crisis Counselor

Text HOME to 741741: 24 hours per day/7 days a week
Trevor Project Lifeline
Provide support to LGBTQ youths and allies through a Crisis Counselor

(800) 788-7386: 24 hours per day/7 days a week
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
Provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress

988 (Call & Text): 24 hours per day/7 days a week
Los Angeles Helpline
Central source for providing information/referrals for all health and human services in LA County

211 (Call & Text): 24 hours per day/7 days per week
Los Angeles County Homeless Outreach Portal
Assist people experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles County with outreach services
Safe Med Los Angeles Coalition
Cross-sector coalition that comprehensively addresses the prescription drug abuse epidemic
Rethinking Access to Marijuana Coalition
Cross-sector coalition to educate people about the harms of youth marijuana use and help minimize youth exposure to marijuana
Department of Mental Health (DMH)
24/7 Mental Health Services include screening, assessment, referral & crisis counseling

(800) 854-7771: 24 hours per day/7 days a week
Department of Social Services (DPSS)
Apply for Medi-Cal, food stamps and income support for low-income families and individuals
Los Angeles County Youth Suicide Prevention Project
Resource for educators, parents, and students about youth suicide prevention
Recover LA Mobile App
Provides education and resources for those seeking substance use information for themselves or others

Contact Us

Substance Abuse Prevention and Control (SAPC)'s Prevention Division have resources available to provide trainings and presentations to a variety of audiences on substance use prevention. The team will try to accommodate requests and provide appropriate referrals as needed.

If you would like to request a presentation, please click here.

Contact us at for any other questions that you may have.

Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.
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