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Blogs / ICMA | blog / Opioid Epidemic Blog Series Part 3: Nine Stages of Community Readiness for Drug Abuse Prevention Planning

Opioid Epidemic Blog Series Part 3: Nine Stages of Community Readiness for Drug Abuse Prevention Planning

Our five-part opioid epidemic blog series will offer communities best practices on applying prevention principles, assessing needs and community readiness, motivating the community to take action, and evaluating the impact of programs implemented. Join us every day this week to learn how communities can implement research-based prevention programs.

Part 3: Nine Stages of Community Readiness for Drug Abuse Prevention Planning

Identifying a serious level of risk in a community does not always translate into community readiness to take action. Based on studies of many small communities, researchers have identified nine stages of readiness that can guide prevention planning (Plested et al. 1999). Applying measures to assess readiness, prevention planners can then identify the critical steps needed to implement programs (see table below). Although much of the research on the stages of community readiness has examined small communities, large communities find that these stages provide a structure to describe levels of awareness of drug issues in their community and readiness to embrace a prevention program. Awareness is assessed at two levels: that of the public (by examining the nature and level of drug coverage in the news) and that of officials (by determining if they have taken a position on drug abuse in the community).

Community leaders can begin assessing their community’s readiness by interviewing key informants in their community. 

NDIA.gov Assessing Readiness Chart

Join us tomorrow for part four for tips on how your community can be motivated to implement research-based prevention programs and don't forget to register for NACo's virtual town hall series on the local response to the opioid crisis.

*Content from this blog post has been extracted from the National Institute on Drug Abuse Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders; 2nd Edition.

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