Coalitions and/or other organizations work to improve their communities in many ways. These changes usually take the form of new or modified programs, policies and practices needed by the community. The logic model is a framework format that is suggested to use in the process of the planning phase. It is a straightforward and a graphic approach to planning that ensures that no vital step will be overlooked from goal setting to measuring outcomes. Below is a sample logic model that programs, agencies, organizations, coalitions and/or individuals are encouraged to use.

What is a Logic Model?

  • A logic model is like a road map that shows that the organization is on the right track
  • It presents a picture of how the initiative is suppose to work
  • It explains why the strategy setting chosen is a good solution to the problem
  • It is a brief, logical series of statements linking needs and resources of the community to strategies and activities that address the issues and what the expected results will be.

Benefits of a Logic Model:

[Source: Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA); Assessment Primer]

  • Develops understanding
  • Helps monitor progress
  • Serves as an evaluation framework
  • Helps restrain over-promising

Risk & Protective Factors

Many factors influence the likelihood that an individual will develop a substance abuse or related behavioral health problem. Effective prevention focuses on reducing the factors that put people at risk of substance abuse and strengthening those factors that protect people from the problem.

The study of risk and protective factors is evolving. We know more about risk and protective factors that occur in the childhood and early adulthood than for middle age and older adulthood. What we do know to-date is important for prevention:

  • Different age groups have different risk and protective factors.
  • Some risk and protective factors overlap between age groups.
  • Risk and protective factors tend to be correlated and have cumulative effects and are predicative of multiple issues.

One person or agency cannot adequately impact a problem alone, so it makes sense to look for opportunities to work with other disciplines to address shared risk and protective factors.
Individuals have certain biological and psychological characteristics that make them vulnerable to, or resilient in the face of, potential behavioral health problems. Risk factors at the individual level include genetic predisposition to addiction or exposure to alcohol prenatally; protective factors might include positive self-image, self-control, or social competence.

But individuals don’t exist in isolation. They are part of families, communities (youth are a part of school), and society. A variety of risk and protective factors exist within each of these contexts or domains. For example:

  • In families, risk factors include child abuse and maltreatment, inadequate supervision, and parents who use drugs and alcohol or who suffer from mental illness; a protective factor would be parental involvement.
  • In communities, risk factors include neighborhood poverty and violence; protective factors might include the availability of faith-based resources and afterschool activities.
  • In society, risk factors can include norms and laws favorable to substance use, as well as racism and a lack of economic opportunity; protective factors include policies limiting availability of substances or laws protecting marginalized populations, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender youth.

In prevention, we need to address the constellation of factors across these contexts that influence both individuals and populations—targeting just one context is unlikely to do the trick.