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Neill Miner, former Director of NE Institute of Addiction Studies, speaks to the excitement around the issue of inhalant prevention.


“We’ve gotten a sense for the kinds of differences that exist in what their state infrastructures look like, how state agencies divide up the work of prevention, what kind of local structures exist to address prevention, and the project has much more explicitly adopted a diffusion model in how to identify who are the key players in this infrastructure. So the evaluation, correspondingly, has tried to adopt measures that look at networks of state and local agencies within each state and in the New England region as a whole that might give us an idea about to what extent is the inhalant message actually being overlaid on existing infrastructure, to what extent are new relationships, new infrastructure, being built, and how sustainable is what the project is doing.”

Peter Kreiner, Project Evaluator, Brandeis University


Key Activities | Challenges | What We Learned

Supporting Regional Efforts: What we Learned

In supporting the work of the six different state inhalant initiatives, we gained some important insights.

No need to reinvent wheel
Excitement about this issue is contagious and passes to other states. It’s fresh, it’s do-able. States that are further along can mentor states that are just beginning so that nobody is reinventing the wheel.

Find the right people
We gained a big boost from offering the regional training of trainers to selected persons from each state. When we invited people to the training we looked for individuals who could train others, spread the message well, allocate resources, or inform policy decisions and planning. We asked each of the state key representatives to nominate people who could carry the torch, who would be the right people to bring the message back to their state.

Task forces are valuable
One key finding that emerged from our follow-up evaluation of the training of trainers’ event was that being a member of a state inhalant task force was extremely important.
Task force members did substantially more inhalant prevention work than non-task force members after they were trained. The implications of this are important in two ways. First, establishing a task force seems to be a key support for local people trying to do this work. Second, it suggests that either you need to target people who already have a lot of experience in inhalant prevention or you need to target people who are members of task forces. But targeting people without a lot of experience who aren’t members of task forces probably isn’t going to be very effective.

Develop new evaluation tools
Since this is an infrastructure development grant rather than a direct service project, our evaluator needed to create a way to measure its effectiveness. Network analysis based upon Diffusion of Innovation theory offers a way to do this.




The New England Inhalant Abuse Prevention Coalition | Home | Contact