Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant (SABG)

The Behavioral Health Administration (BHA) administers a portion of the Federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant (SABG) from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to fund primary prevention by providing universal, selective, and indicated prevention activities and services for persons not identified as needing treatment.

The SABG program's objective is to help plan, implement, and evaluate activities that prevent and treat substance use disorders. The SABG is authorized by section 1921 of Title XIX, Part B, Subpart II and III of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. The Public Health Service (PHS) Act required the secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to create regulations as a precondition to making funds available to the states and other grantees under the SABG. Title 45 Code of Federal Regulations Part 96 was published on March 31, 1993, and The Tobacco Regulations for Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, Final Rule, 61 Federal Register 1492 was published on January 19, 1996.

SAMHSA's Center for Substance Abuse Treatment's (CSAT) Performance Partnership Branch, in collaboration with the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention's (CSAP) Division of State Programs, administers the SABG.

The federal block grant guidelines include primary prevention activities that are directed at individuals who do not require treatment for substance use disorder. Comprehensive primary prevention programs, policies, practices, and approaches target both general population and subgroups that are at high risk for substance misuse and abuse.

Program Goals

The BHA identified three overarching goals for all BHA funded prevention programs, policies, practices, and approaches:

  1. Prevent, reduce and mitigate the incidence, and prevalence of substance use, misuse, and abuse across the lifespan
  2. Promote mental wellness for all Coloradans
  3. Enhance and sustain a coordinated and integrated community and state prevention system.

Prevention Strategies

Prevention approaches are specifically designed to decrease substance misuse and abuse and related problem behaviors, increase understanding of contributing factors, and promote healthy behavior and lifestyle to support positive choices. Funded primary prevention initiatives must include two or more of the following primary prevention strategies:

  • Information Dissemination
  • Education
  • Alternative Activities
  • Problem Identification and Referral
  • Community-based Process
  • Environmental


(a) For purposes of §96.124, each State/Territory shall develop and implement a comprehensive prevention program which includes a broad array of prevention strategies directed at individuals not identified to be in need of treatment. The comprehensive program shall be provided either directly or through one or more public or nonprofit private entities. The comprehensive primary prevention program shall include activities and services provided in a variety of settings for both the general population, as well as targeting sub-groups who are at high risk for substance abuse.

(b) In implementing the prevention program the State shall use a variety of strategies, as appropriate for each target group, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Information Dissemination: This strategy provides awareness and knowledge of the nature and extent of alcohol, tobacco and drug use, abuse and addiction and their effects on individuals, families and communities. It also provides knowledge and awareness of available prevention programs and services. Information dissemination is characterized by one-way communication from the source to the audience, with limited contact between the two. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy include (but are not limited to) the following:

(i) Clearinghouse/information resource center(s),
(ii) Resource directories,
(iii) Media campaigns,
(iv) Brochures,
(v) Radio/TV public service announcements,
(vi) Speaking engagements,
(vii) Health fairs/health promotion, and
(viii) Information lines.

(2) Education: This strategy involves two-way communication and is distinguished from the Information Dissemination strategy by the fact that interaction between the educator/facilitator and the participants is the basis of its activities. Activities under this strategy aim to affect critical life and social skills, including decision-making, refusal skills, critical analysis (e.g. of media messages) and systematic judgment abilities. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy include (but are not limited to) the following:

(i) Classroom and/or small group sessions (all ages),
(ii) Parenting and family management classes,
(iii) Peer leader/helper programs,
(iv) Education programs for youth groups, and
(v) Children of substance abusers groups.

(3) Alternatives: This strategy provides for the participation of target populations in activities that exclude alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. The assumption is that constructive and healthy activities offset the attraction to, or otherwise meet the needs usually filled by alcohol, tobacco and other drugs and would, therefore, minimize or obviate resort to the latter. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy include (but are not limited to) the following:

(i) Drug free dances and parties,
(ii) Youth/adult leadership activities,
(iii) Community drop-in centers, and
(iv) Community service activities.

(4) Problem Identification and Referral: This strategy aims at identification of those who have indulged in illegal/age-inappropriate use of tobacco or alcohol and those individuals who have indulged in the first use of illicit drugs in order to assess if their behavior can be reversed through education. It should be noted, however, that this strategy does not include any activity designed to determine if a person is in need of treatment. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy include (but are not limited to) the following:

(i) Employee assistance programs,
(ii) Student assistance programs, and
(iii) Driving while under the influence/driving while intoxicated education programs.

(5) Community-Based Process: This strategy aims to enhance the ability of the community to more effectively provide prevention and treatment services for alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse disorders. Activities in this strategy include organizing, planning, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness of services implementation, inter-agency collaboration, coalition building and networking. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy include (but are not limited to) the following:

(i) Community and volunteer training, e.g., neighborhood action training, training of key people in the system, staff/officials training,
(ii) Systematic planning,
(iii) Multi-agency coordination and collaboration,
(iv) Accessing services and funding, and
(v) Community team-building.

(6) Environmental: This strategy establishes or changes written and unwritten community standards, codes and attitudes, thereby influencing incidence and prevalence of the abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs used in the general population. This strategy is divided into two subcategories to permit distinction between activities which center on legal and regulatory initiatives and those which relate to the service and action-oriented initiatives. Examples of activities conducted and methods used for this strategy shall include (but not be limited to) the following:

(i) Promoting the establishment and review of alcohol, tobacco and drug use policies in schools,
(ii) Technical assistance to communities to maximize local enforcement procedures governing availability and distribution of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use,
(iii) Modifying alcohol and tobacco advertising practices, and
(iv) Product pricing strategies.

Source: Electronic Code of Federal Regulations Title 45: Public Welfare, Part 96 --Block Grant, Subpart L--Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant, Section: §96.125--Primary prevention. (Downloaded Dec 12, 2017)

Funded Programs

Substance Abuse Prevention Block Grant Funded Programs (Download the map)

Map of Substance Use Prevention Programs in Colorado
Under-Resourced High-Needs Programs
  • Baca County
  • Bent County
  • Clear Creek County
  • Custer County
  • Fremont County
  • Huerfano County
  • Gilpin County
  • Park County
  • Prowers County
  • Teller County
Priority Population Programs
  • Community Health Initiatives
  • Delta Montrose Youth Services
  • Gunnison Valley Mentors
  • Health Promotions at the University of Colorado Boulder
  • Partners Mentoring Youth
  • Rocky Mountain Youth Services
  • Teens Inc.
Evidence-Based Programs and Policies
  • Boulder County Public Health
  • Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Pueblo
  • Chaffee County Human Services Family and Youth Initiative
  • Colorado Meth Project, Rise Above
  • Crossroads Turning Points
  • Denver Public Schools
  • Full Circle of Lake County
  • I Have a Dream Foundation
  • Mountain Youth
  • Summit County, Family and Intercultural Resource Center