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Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) Project

The Strategic Prevention Framework State Incentive Grant (SPF SIG) is a five year grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP). The SPF SIG program is one of SAMHSA's infrastructure grant programs that support an array of activities to help grantees build a solid foundation for delivering and sustaining effective substance abuse and/or mental health services.

The Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) is a five-step process which assists states in developing a comprehensive plan for prevention infrastructure and supports selected local communities in implementing effective programs, policies and practices to reduce substance abuse and its related problems. This approach creates a strategic prevention framework that is built on science-based theory, evidence-based practices and the knowledge that effective prevention programs must engage individuals, families and entire communities.

Required steps for communities to follow when using the Strategic Prevention Framework are to systematically:

  • Assess their prevention needs based on epidemiological data
  • Build their prevention capacity
  • Develop a strategic plan
  • Implement effective community prevention programs, policies and practices, and
  • Evaluate their efforts for outcomes.

Throughout all five steps, the issues of sustainability and cultural competence must be addressed. Sustainability is simply the ability of the State/county/community to sustain the program once the grant period has expired. Cultural competence describes the ability of an individual or organization to interact effectively with people of different cultures. To produce positive change, prevention practitioners must understand the cultural context of their target community, and have the willingness and skills to work within this context. This means drawing on community-based values, traditions, and customs, and working with knowledgeable persons of and from the community to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention activities.

The following SPF SIG Project information can be found on this website:


The Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP), Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation/Prevention Research Center (PIRE/PRC), and the Governor’s Prevention Advisory Council (GPAC) will guide California’s SPF SIG project through the SPF SIG GPAC Workgroup.

For more detailed background information about this workgroup, the statewide assessment they conducted, their duties, and subrecipient selection, click on the following link: SPFSIG - Governor's Prevention Advisory Council (GPAC): Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs (ADP).

This grant is important to the State of California because participation in SAMHSA’s SPF SIG program will enhance ADP’s ability to help guide and monitor the strategic development and implementation of community level prevention strategies focused on specific community needs. These prevention strategies will demonstrate effective local level implementation and the use of research-based methodologies. Importantly, this in turn will allow communities to quickly observe and report measurable outcomes.

The following information will provide a more detailed view of California’s SPF SIG project.


The California Department of Alcohol and Drug Programs was awarded the SAMHSA SPF SIG in September 2010 to:

  • Provide more streamlined state and county processes and procedures
  • Expedite the planning/action/outcomes process
  • Create a means for communicating statewide priorities at all levels
  • Increase the use of data in local planning
  • Provide more coordinated and effective evidence-based prevention efforts

In following the SPF SIG five-step process, the SPF SIG Workgroup conducted a statewide needs assessment, the results of which identified underage and excessive drinking among 12 to 25 year olds as the priority of the California SPF SIG project. Underage drinking is defined as the use of alcohol by individuals under the legal drinking age of 21 years. Excessive drinking refers to heavy drinking or binge drinking (http://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/faqs.htm). Heavy drinking is defined as consuming 2 or more drinks per day for men, and for women, 1 or more drinks per day, on average. Binge drinking is defined as consuming 5 or more drinks on a single occasion for men and within a two hour time period, and for women, consuming 4 or more drinks on a single occasion and within a two hour time period. The broad age range was chosen for several reasons which include the known risk factors associated with underage drinking, the high prevalence of excessive drinking among 21 to 25 year olds, and the negative consequences associated with both of these drinking patterns.

The SPF SIG will streamline existing SPF processes at the county and community level, and will demonstrate effective implementation of research-based prevention strategies in communities.


The SPF SIG Workgroup developed a process for identifying project communities that began with a set of cities between 50,000 and 500,000 in population. In order to form a list of manageable size and reduce the dominance of the most populated counties, 50 communities were selected through a process of random selection. Demographic, survey, and archival records were consolidated and analyzed in order to determine high-need community candidates for the SPF SIG project (i.e., high alcohol consumption; alcohol-related crashes; underage drinking, etc.). The top 26 communities were paired based on a combination of demographic characteristics and the alcohol problem indicators. Interviews with county AOD staff were conducted to gain a better understanding of local conditions that would lead to successful implementation of the SPF SIG. Ultimately, funding allowed for 12 community projects. The final set of intervention communities were chosen by random selection, one from each pair.

The 12 selected SPF SIG communities are:

Livermore (Alameda County)
Antioch (Contra Costa County)
Walnut Creek (Contra Costa County)
Santa Monica (Los Angeles County)
San Rafael (Marin County)
Merced (Merced County)
Huntington Beach (Orange County)
Folsom (Sacramento County)
Redlands (San Bernardino County)
Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara County)
Santa Rose (Sonoma County)
Ventura (Ventura County)


The following documents, while not exhaustive, will assist and guide counties and communities during their implementation of the SPF SIG project. Additional documents will be added as they become available. Check back regularly for updates.


As outcomes from the SPF SIG project become known, measured and reported, ADP is committed to sharing the findings and the lessons learned with all interested California counties, communities, and programs. A successful SPF SIG prevention project includes having a balanced combination of understanding substance abuse issues combined with the implementation of a variety of effective science-based prevention models and approaches that address the needs of the individual, specific community needs, and environmental factors. This compilation of data derived from program findings and lessons learned will become a valuable statewide resource and useful tool for replicating successful prevention strategies and programs which can be used by all California communities.

Community Prevention Initiative (CPI) will conduct annual learning community events to provide a venue for participating communities to share their program status with interested parties across California. Information will include successes achieved, challenges faced, obstacles overcome, and outcomes measured. In addition, information will be shared with the County Alcohol and Drug Program Administrators Association of California (CADPAAC), the GPAC, and at the bi-annual ADP conference; and by working one-on-one with counties interested in implementation of the SPF SIG.


As the California SPF SIG project continues to evolve, if you have questions or would like additional information, contact: Margie L. Hieter, Alcohol & Drug Programs, 1700 K Street, Sacramento, California 95811; 916-323-1836; or via email at Margie.Hieter@adp.ca.gov.