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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

HLTH 4541: Population Based Prevention and Intervention

Learners will be exposed to a broadened view of approaches to reducing risk and harms of substance use for individuals, helping systems and communities, including health promotion, prevention, harm reduction, and drug policy. Learners will consider population as individuals, families, social and demographic cohorts, neighborhoods, and larger communities when examining policy, programs, advocacy, and legislation aimed at preventing and or reducing problematic substance use.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Develop foundational and basic competency in applicable technical and behavioural skills and as defined in the competency profile for Canada's Substance Abuse Workforce.
  • Develop practical understanding of a variety of interventions used in the prevention of substance use in Canada.
  • Examine evidence-based approaches to prevention, promotion, and harm reduction with substance use and the strategies that are most effective with different target populations.
  • Identify risk and protective factors associated with problematic substance use for the purpose of guiding program and policy development.
  • Recognize at a systems level the positive or negative effect advocacy, policy, and legislation may have on achieving optimum population health and well-being related to problematic substance use.
  • Recognize how health professionals from all occupational clusters influence the development and implementation of policy.

Course topics

  • Lesson 1: Introduction and Core Concepts Related to Health Promotion, Population Health, and Prevention
  • Lesson 2: Linking Etiology of Substance Use to Prevention Planning
  • Lesson 3: Evidence-Based Prevention, Health Promotion, and Harm Reduction Interventions/Strategies
  • Lesson 4: Health Promotion and Prevention--Community, Relationships, and Social Capital

Required text and materials

Hogan, J., Gabrielsen, K., Luna, N., & Grothaus, D. Substance abuse prevention: The intersection of science and practice. (1st ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education, 2003.
Type: ISBN-10: 0-205-34162-4/ ISBN-13: 978-0205341627

Additional requirements

A computer with Internet access is required.

You may require a headset or computer speakers.

Students can find detailed information about the hardware, software, and computer skills requirements for their course at


To successfully complete this course, students much achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% higher on the mandatory Final Project.

Assignment 1: Short Critical Thinking Paper 1 10%
Assignment 2: Short Critical Thinking Paper 2 10%
Assignment 3: Policy Analysis Paper 25%
Assignment 4: Prevention Media Savvy 15%
Final Project: Development of a Prevention Plan 40%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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