Through the State Incentive Program Application, Utah State and its governor, Michael Leavitt, present a comprehensive methodology to develop an innovative substance abuse prevention plan. Governor Leavitt is committed to substance abuse prevention and sees this project as a means to have an impact on the lives of Utah citizens. His statement of the seriousness of substance abuse follows:
It has become clear to me that if we could make one change in the world, a change that would fundamentally change the landscape of the world and the nature of government and society, that change would be to eliminate substance abuse. When we look at the many difficult problems our society is facing--crime, family disruption, medical care costs--they appear to me, in large part to have their root causes in substance abuse. I believe that of all the things we may have a chance to accomplish during our collective public service, this may be the one issue we will work on that will make a real difference in the quality of life for Utah’s citizens.
Utah currently has programs that are aimed at improving the health and welfare of its youth. These programs target schools, families, communities and the youth themselves. Through the Utah State Incentive Project, the resources, energy, and funding that these programs use to target substance abuse prevention will be coordinated and focused. The four goals of the project are:
1) Use the Risk and Protective Factor Model to coordinate, and where legally permissible redirect, and leverage substance abuse prevention resources that are directed toward communities, families, schools, and workplaces.
2) Develop a comprehensive, statewide prevention strategy that uses the Risk and Protective Factor Model of Substance Abuse Prevention to increases the capacity of communities to reduce alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use among youth.
3) Demonstrate a reduction in research-based risk indicators and substance use that affects youth, parents, and communities in Utah.
4) Develop a comprehensive, state-wide plan to sustain and expand the comprehensive prevention strategy at the conclusion of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, State Incentive Cooperative Agreement.
In part, these goals will be accomplished by providing training, funding, and technical assistance to communities who will implement prevention programs that are research-based and have been shown to reduce the factors that place youth at risk, increase the factors that offer protection, and ultimately decrease substance use.