The goal of NNADAP is to support First Nations and Inuit people and their communities in establishing and operating programs aimed at arresting and offsetting high levels of alcohol, drug, and solvent abuse among their target population. Based on the NNADAP treasury board submissions, First Nations communities should have access to primary, secondary and tertiary prevention activities for alcohol and other drug abuse. However, the types of services offered by NNADAP prevention programs at the First Nations community level varies from one community to another depending on a variety of factors. This paper provides a comprehensive review of this component of the program and provides recommendations on how the program can better align with current best/promising practices for prevention, while maintaining the programs cultural base. In the original vision of NNADAP, it was proposed that the prevention component would be integrated with the continuum of care for alcohol and other drug abuse, and that there would be frequent and close working relationships between community-based prevention workers and treatment centres. Despite periodic, well-intentioned efforts, the prevention and treatment components have remained separate. However, the original vision for a clearly structured, well-trained, and connected prevention component remains valid. Through a review of the literature, focus groups and key informants interviews the Prevention Research Paper aims to identify existing evidence-based best/promising practices and strategies for the prevention of substance abuse in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal settings; identify gaps and challenges of the NNADAP prevention program; and propose various short and longer term strategies to improve and revitalize the NNADAP prevention component over the next ten years.
Author: Dr. Heather Gifford