Readiness for drug use prevention in rural minority communities.


An assessment of community readiness for drug use prevention in rural communities indicated that most rural communities are at relatively low stages of readiness. Minority communities were particularly low in readiness, with only 2% having functioning drug prevention programs. Rural communities at different levels of readiness require different types of programs to increase readiness, i.e., communities at the no awareness stage require analysis of the historical and cultural issues that support tolerance of drug use, those at the denial and vague awareness stages need specific information about local problems, and communities at the preplanning and preparation stages need information about effective programs, help in identifying resources, and assistance with staff training. In addition, building and maintaining effective programs requires continued evolution of readiness through the stages of initiation, stabilization, confirmation and expansion, and professionalization. Revised and updated scales and methods for assessing community readiness are provided.