Informing Public Health and Prevention Efforts
There are many significant challenges to the public’s health. For example, data indicate that more than 100,000 persons died from drug overdoses, fueled by opioid and synthetic drugs like fentanyl. There is a need for evidence to continually inform public decision-making to address this and other public health challenges, including identification of effective programs and strategies, as well as research-based technical assistance and resources for understanding and adapting implementation to local contexts.
Trust our deep expertise in conducting policy-relevant and methodologically sound research studies to inform your efforts to prevent substance abuse and enhance overall public health.
Sarah Guckenburg is a senior research associate for the Justice and Prevention Research Center at WestEd and the lead evaluator for substance use prevention programming in Berks and Montgomery Counties in Pennsylvania. These evaluations, conducted concurrently in partnership with local county staff, are designed to help refine and support implementation of substance use prevention programs by other districts, schools, and communities across the country.
Jennifer Loeffler-Cobia is justice and public health policy and practice director at the for the Justice and Prevention Research Center at WestEd. She directs a project for Idaho’s Office of Drug Policy to assist its efforts to understand the needs and gaps in substance misuse prevention across the state.
Dr. Jonathan Nakamoto is a senior research associate for the Justice and Prevention Research Center at WestEd. He directs a rigorous study of Project With, a sexual health program with justice-involved youth in California. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services funds the study to assess program implementation the project’s impact on unplanned teenpregnancies among juveniles encountering the Los Angeles County juvenile justice system.
Our Work in Action
Substance Use Prevention Evaluation in Pennsylvania
WestEd is assisting the Office of Drug and Alcohol in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in evaluation planning, program implementation, data collection, and comprehensive reporting of evidence-based alcohol and drug programming in the county.
Specifically, our team is designing innovative data collection procedures, training providers on data collection, and providing analysis and reporting for all Evidence-Based Programs (EBP) provided in schools as well as other prevention programming offered throughout the county. Download the Montgomery County Office of Drug & Alcohol Prevention Programming and Evaluation Findings 2019-2020 (PDF).