Prevention Pillar


Aims to prevent harmful use of prescription medications and illegal drugs before it even begins on a community level. Prevention focuses on decreasing risk factors and influences that put individuals at risk for use, and strengthening factors and influences that protect individuals.

Effective Prevention Initiatives are:

  • grounded in public health
  • use strategic planning
  • data driven
  • uses evidence-based strategies

Misuse of prescription drugs can lead to dependence and addiction. Research shows 25% of youth who abused prescription drugs before age 14 develop a substance use disorder some time in their life.

13.2 years old…

is the average age Fond du Lac County youth first use prescription medications for non-medical use.

(Source: 2018 Fond du Lac County Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs (ATOD) survey)

Transitions from prescriptions to heroin is not uncommon. Those who report non-medical use of prescription pain killers are 19 times more likely to initiate heroin use. Four in five people who use heroin reported starting with misusing prescriptions, which are involved in more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

Our Prevention Goals Include:

  • Prevent and reduce the use of prescription medication misuse and heroin use among youth and adults in FDL County
  • Decrease the availability of prescription medication for misuse
  • Increase promotion of best practices for prescribing opioid medications
  • Increase education and environmental protective factors and decrease risk factors

Prevention and education is vital to address opioid abuse across the lifespan, from older adults to youth. We can prevent and reduce the misuse of prescription medications through comprehensive, environmental strategies. Everyone has a role to place.

What We Know:

  • 16% of youth report obtaining medications from their home/medicine cabinet
  • 19% from parents
  • 24% from friends/peers
  • Only 12% from strangers/dealers

We also Know that:

  • Only 23% of students report that they had discussions with their parents, in the past 30 days, on the harmful effects and dangers of misusing prescription medications

Research has shown that healthier youth behaviors and achievement are linked to increased parent engagement. Discussions around substance use between parents and their children are not prevalent.


So What Can You Do

Secure and dispose of old/unused medications

  • Visit our Prescription Drug Misuse page, linked below or click here for more information on this topic, and discover any of the 12 drug drop locations in Fond du Lac County.

Be An Advocate for Yourself. Talk with Your Providers

  • Talk with your physician before filling a prescription. Take medications as prescribed and do not share medications. Have a conversation with your provider and discuss alternatives for pain management, non-opioid pain medication, minimizing risks of dependency, and prescribing limited quantity of opioids if must be prescribed.

Talk to Your Children. Lead by Example.

  • Learn about certain risk and protective factors for substance use, and how you can enhance protective factors and minimize risk factors at an individual, family or community level. Risk and Protective Factors

Additional Resources

DFC's Focus Areas

Prescription Drug Misuse, Heroin & Opioids: Four Pillar Approach, Alcohol Use & Abuse