The Division of Behavioral Health (DBH), formerly the Divisions of Alcohol and Drug Abuse and Comprehensive Psychiatric Services, provides services through a network of contractors who operate alcohol and drug abuse prevention programs. The Division monitors these providers and their staff, who must meet certification standards. Preventing substance abuse not only prevents the tragic consequences of addiction, but allows for better use of the limited resources available to the Division of Behavioral Health. Therefore, the Division strives to reduce the number of persons needing treatment through an extensive prevention effort. In Missouri, prevention is implemented through the following programs and services:
Community Coalitions are a network of volunteer, community teams who focus solely on alcohol, tobacco and other drug (ATOD) issues as a part of a broad mission and/or array of services. Organization and development of community coalitions was initiated in 1987. Each team is composed of community volunteers from the area served. Teams receive technical assistance and training from the Regional Support Centers on a variety of topics related to organization development and implementation of prevention strategies.
Regional Support Centers (RSC) are the primary source of technical assistance support for community coalitions. The goal of the RSC is to facilitate development of teams capable of making changes in substance use patterns in their community. Each RSC has a prevention specialist who works directly with the teams in his or her area and assists with the development of teams and task forces in communities that desire to develop one.
Direct programs /services are prevention education and early intervention activities provided to designated children, youth and families. These services involve structured programming and/or a curriculum, have multiple sessions, include pre- and post-testing, and address identified risk and protective factors. Direct programs/services may also involve a variety of activities, including informational sessions and training and/or technical assistance activities with groups.
The Statewide Training and Resource Center (STRC) conducts a variety of activities and programs on behalf of the Division and the overall state prevention system. The STRC provides resources, training, and technical assistance for the RSC and direct prevention providers. The STRC presents a number of statewide workshops throughout the year and also holds a statewide prevention conference. The STRC also operates a consultant resource bank with resources available to the prevention community and administers the Mini-Grant Program for community coalitions.
In 2002, the Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH), Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) launched the School-based Prevention Intervention and Resources Initiative (SPIRIT). This project proposes to delay the onset and decrease the use of substances, improve overall school performance, and reduce incidents of violence. To achieve these goals, prevention agencies are paired with participating school districts to provide technical assistance in implementing evidence-based substance abuse prevention programming and referral and assessment services as needed. The four school districts participating in the SPIRIT project are: Carthage R-IX, Ritenour, Knox Co. R-1 and New Madrid Co. R-1 school districts. The project offers a variety of evidence-based prevention programs selected by the districts.
The Missouri Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) has engaged in comprehensive statewide efforts to educate merchants on the state's tobacco laws. Various educational activities, including retailer visits, are conducted throughout the state by contracted Regional Support Centers (RSC). Merchant education is provided to retailers to help Missouri keep its Synar rate under 20 percent.