The purpose of the Prevention Department at Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health is to assist communities in their efforts to build and sustain resilient, drug-free communities. The Prevention Staff is devoted to assisting communities in gaining the resources necessary to ensure the health and well-being of all citizens. Prevention of substance misuse involves more than just preventing access and use of substances. Efficient strategies involve addressing the issues that trigger substance abuse including domestic violence, bullying, sexual and physical abuse, mental illness and many more.

The Missouri Division of Behavioral Health has designated Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health (SEMO BH) in Poplar Bluff, Missouri as the Prevention Resource Center (PRC) for Service Area 19. Service Area 19 includes the following Missouri counties: Butler, Carter, Reynolds, Ripley, Stoddard, and Wayne. The prevention specialists assist communities in organizing coalitions whose objective is to educate citizens on the realities of drug and alcohol misuse and prevent the misuse of these substances. Annually, the PRC conducts a Community Assessment. It is developed to identify problem areas and assist coalitions in creating strategic plans to address those issues, which include evidence based strategies and activities. Effective coalitions involve representation from all sectors in the community; law enforcement, faith based, businesses, media, youth, schools, policy/decision makers, etc. This type of community collaboration produces the most successful prevention outcomes.

In addition to our work with the community coalitions, the PRC also participates in a statewide campaign providing educational visits to all merchants who sell tobacco products. This annual campaign takes place in the spring. Prevention staff provides updates on new laws, when applicable, organization of trainings, helpful tips and information on the prevention of sales to minors. The Food and Drug Administration and the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control now offer free, tobacco sales webinars online. Visit or contact the PRC for more information.

If you are interested in additional information in your area, please contact:

Ryan Peabody, Director of Prevention

Southeast Missouri Behavioral Health 101 South Main Street Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 573-686-5090

Email: Prevention@semobh.org