Prevention, Training & Response ServicesPrevention & Wellness Services
Lynn McDowell, Division Director
2720 Liberty Road, NW
Roanoke, VA 24012

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Voice: 540-982-1427 Fax: 540-266-7016

Prevention Services employ community focused strategies to:  reduce youth access to and use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs; promote violence and suicide prevention; address family management issues; modify community and school policies to provide structure for positive community norms; and support collaborative community coalition approaches to promote healthy youth development.

Evidence-Based Programs are utilized in school and community settings that are designed to address the prevention of violence and the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs by youth. Partnerships with school districts, the Y, and other youth-serving organizations provide a variety of settings for the provision of services for a diverse population of children and youth. These services are designed to increase participants’ skills and enhance their resiliencies to better cope with life’s challenges and to help them succeed in school and other endeavors. Youth leadership skills are emphasized to encourage healthy youth development for all children and teenagers. The Family Wellness Initiative ( utilizes skill based parent training to promote a more participatory family structure by teaching and fostering competence in children, improving communication between parents and children,  and helping children learn from the natural and logical consequences of their own choices.  Health and wellness strategies are added program components and social media tools are utilized to support education.  Services are research based and evaluated.

RAYSAC, the Roanoke Area Youth Substance Abuse Coalition, is staffed by Prevention Services and has sponsored many events and activities promoting drug-free messages. A SAMHSA Partnership for Success Strategic Prevention Framework (PFS SPF) Prescription Drug Misuse and Abuse and Heroin Overdose Prevention grant will support specific coalition goals and strategies through 2020. The coalition’s signature annual events are the After Prom Grand Finale in June and Red Ribbon Week in October. RAYSAC also provides guidance and leadership for the Roanoke Valley Rx Drug Task Force and the annual Legislative Roundtable. To learn more about RAYSAC go to

Prevention Planning Teams and Community Coalitions in Botetourt (Botetourt Prevention Coalition) and Craig (Craig Prevention Planning Team) Counties and the Cities of Roanoke (Roanoke Prevention Alliance) and Salem (Salem Prevention Planning Team) meet regularly to gather, assess, and analyze youth risk behavior data in order to identify areas of high risk behavior and plan prevention and intervention services tailored to meet local needs and conditions.  The Roanoke Prevention Alliance continues its previously grant funded focus to reduce alcohol related motor vehicle crashes by  18 to 24 year olds as well as preventing drug and alcohol abuse among teens and young adults in the City of Roanoke ( Prevention staff partner with Prevention Council of Roanoke County (PCRC) which performs similar functions and collaborates with the other prevention coalitions and planning teams in a variety of community events.  Prevention and Wellness Services support and offer technical assistance to all of these community groups.