What is a RAC?
Regional Action Councils (RACs) were created by the Legislature in 1989 to assess community substance abuse problems; inventory resources to address substance abuse problems; identify gaps in services; identify changes to community environments that will reduce substance abuse; and design programs and develop plans to fill identified gaps in services.
The 13 Regional Action Councils bring key constituency groups together including government leaders, mental health and substance abuse treatment professionals, law enforcement, social service providers, school personnel, parents, civic groups, faith organizations, youth and others. These individuals and groups make up the RACs’ community coalitions that advocate wellness across all 169 cities and towns in Connecticut.
Because Regional Action Councils are led by community leaders and residents, their prevention strategies are tailored to meet each community’s specific needs. The RACs’ ability to work at the grassroots level allows information regarding substance abuse and community needs to be collected and/or dissemintated efficiently.
The RACs use coalition input and needs assessment data to gain additional resources to meet their communities’ prevention needs.
RACs bring in financial resources for programs from sources such as; Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration’s Drug-Free Communities and STOP Act programs; The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, The United Way, and local community foundations and other contributions. From 2006-2008 RACs together brought in over 11 million dollars in Federal and local contributions to communities to enhance substance abuse prevention efforts.
The Five Steps of the SPF – Strategic Prevention Framework
SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) is a planning process for preventing substance misuse and abuse.
CPN professionals use SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) as a comprehensive guide to plan, implement, and evaluate prevention efforts.
The five steps of the SPF guide prevention professionals in planning, implementing, and evaluating effective evidence-based prevention efforts that reflect cultural competence and show sustainability. The effectiveness of this process begins with a clear understanding of community needs and involves community members in all stages of the planning process.
Your local Regional Action Council (RAC) can assist with all of your prevention needs!
RACs are highly effective, community-based partnerships with successful programs that have been recognized at both the state and national levels! Some of the programs/services offered by your local RAC include:
- Awareness, Education & Prevention
- Community Mobilization
- Legislative Advocacy
- Media Advocacy
- Program Development
- Project Collaboration
- Public Policy Development
- Research & Evaluation
- Solutions to Reduce Addictions
- Surveys, Needs Assessments
- Data Collection Training
- Technical Assistance
- Best Practices/Science-based Trainings