Substance misuse remains a leading cause of preventable death in the United States, killing 91,799 people in 2020. The 2020 National Survey on Drug Use and Health states that 40.3 million people aged 12 and older had a substance use disorder in the past year. During that same time span, 21.4 percent of people aged 12 or older used illicit drugs.

EDC is helping to train the nation’s substance misuse prevention workforce through its leadership of the Strategic Prevention Technical Assistance Center (SPTAC). Funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), SPTAC will provide customized, high-quality training and technical assistance to SAMHSA’s prevention grantees across the country, improving their workforce knowledge and skills to successfully implement SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework. SPTAC’s efforts will prioritize prevention efforts for people who experience behavioral health inequities due to income, race, gender, disability, and language.

Key Activities

SPTAC will:

  • Assess the substance misuse prevention needs of populations, with a focus on underage alcohol and cannabis use and prescription drug misuse
  • Prepare prevention systems to address the needs of people who face disparities in accessing culturally and linguistically responsive and effective substance misuse services
  • Help grantees develop strategic plans that link identified prevention risk factors to clear and measurable outcomes
  • Implement evidence-informed programs, practices, and policies, including universal, selective, and indicated prevention strategies
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of prevention efforts implemented


SPTAC will work with an estimated 800 SAMHSA grantees across all 10 Health and Human Services regions.

Learn More

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Carnevale Associates, LLC; HeadSpin Software; Synergy Enterprises; University of Oklahoma—Southwest Prevention Center; University of Nevada-Reno, Center for the Application of Substance Abuse Technologies