Using a variety of effective prevention strategies across the lifespan, funded agencies collaborate at the community-level to reduce alcohol, tobacco and other drugs use, delay the early initiation of problem gambling and prevent suicides. Using data to drive decisions, funded agencies work with multiple community sectors to complete the following:

  • Assess a community’s true needs by reviewing local, state and national data;
  • Build local capacity around prevention efforts;
  • Reflect each community’s cultural diversity;
  • Develop community-level strategic plans to address prevention needs;
  • Implement strategic plans to increase positive behavior change;
  • Evaluate local efforts; and
  • Sustain positive outcomes.

Substance Abuse Prevention Priorities

These prevention priorities are promoted through the various grant opportunities the bureau administers.


Problem Gambling



Prescription Medication/Opioids



Prevention Grants

See current Substance Use Prevention grants.

Prevention Related Programs Data, Publications and Reports

Data Requests: Information About Requesting Data from Iowa HHS


Substance Use Prevention Strategic Plan

The Bureau of Substance Use established a committee in the summer of 2017 to inform the strategic plan process. In addition to bureau staff, committee members included representatives from the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Department of Human Services, and the Iowa Department of Public Safety, along with community-based prevention and treatment service providers from across the state.

The Five-Year Substance Use Prevention Strategic Plan follows the Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) model and is guided by the principles of cultural competence and sustainability throughout all five steps of the process.  The Strategic Plan focuses on strategies for Evidence-Based Practices, Continuous Quality Improvement, Prevention Education, Workforce Development, and includes a special focus area on strategies to Reduce Opioid Use Disorder. 

Substance Abuse Prevention Strategic Plan Performance Indicators

Established performance indicators that will be monitored to assess the impact of the implemented strategies include:


To learn more about prevention services and connect with an Iowa HHS-funded prevention agency in your area, visit or contact with questions.

Source: Introduction to the field of prevention, The Athena Forum by the Washington State Health Care Authority/Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery, 2018