In 1987, the Rhode Island General Assembly passed the Rhode Island Substance Abuse Prevention Act (RISAPA) to promote comprehensive prevention programming at the community level. Thirty-four Municipal Task Forces, covering almost all of the State’s 39 cities and towns, engage in local needs assessments; and planning, implementation, and evaluation of strategies, policies, and programs to produce long-term reductions in substance use and abuse.  

In 2017, BHDDH put in place seven Regional Task Forces to oversee the planning and delivery of substance use prevention and behavioral health promotion activities within the municipalities that comprise the region. Each Regional Task Force must assess community substance use prevention needs, resources, and behavioral health promotion, and develop a capacity building plan to address gaps in resources or community readiness, as well as produce a strategic plan, incorporating evidence-based and best practice interventions. Each Task Force includes city and town representation, which ensures that individual communities’ municipal coalitions will continue to play an active role in planning and service provision, as well as promoting behavioral health services. The Regional Task Forces provide administrative oversight, funding and other needed resources to support the smaller municipal coalition contributions as part of a larger regional prevention plan.

For more information about state initiatives, visit the RI Regional Coalition website.