Data in Prevention

Data are at the core of SPIFFY’s prevention efforts. We believe in the power of data to drive change, promote equity, and prevent youth substance misuse, which is why we dedicate a large portion of our work to both quantitative and qualitative research initiatives.


About the Data

Traditional surveillance data – like our biennial Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) – help us track substance misuse over time, as well as monitor changes in risk and protective factors, such as mental health, social support, and school climate. We also rely on data from focus groups and key informant interviews to gain a deeper understanding of patterns we see in our PNAS results (and to shape future iterations of the PNAS), and embrace participatory action research that enables community members – particularly youth – to make sense of, and create action plans based on, data. Like any source of information, data are open to interpretation and discussion; like rudders on a ship, the direction data take us depends on the person, or people, doing the steering. Because of this, SPIFFY prioritizes partner and community input when making meaning from data. As a result, we are able to create informative narratives around youth substance misuse in Hampshire County that are data-driven, reliable, and most importantly, grounded by collective understanding.

Strategic Planning

Click the image below to view the latest SPIFFY Strategic Planning Assessment Report.

thumbnail image of the cover of the 2021/22 SPIFFY Strategic Planning Assessment Report cover

Data Sources

If you are interested in looking at local, state, or Federal level data, click below.

Federal-Level Data
State-Level Data
Local Western Massachusetts Data
  • Hampshire County Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) Data:  The Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) is a biennial survey administered to all 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students throughout Hampshire County. This survey monitors youth substance use, mental health, and other risk and protective factors (e.g., access, risk perceptions, parent disapproval, social support), and also assesses key demographic information. The latter allows us to disaggregate results to examine whether any group differences exist, ultimately to reduce disparities and promote health equity. The PNAS has been administered in Hampshire County since 2007, and our interactive data dashboard above allows users to explore data that have been collected over the years.
  • DSC-WAV data dashboard
    • SPIFFY’s interactive data dashboard is the result of a yearlong collaboration between SPIFFY and the Data Science Corp – Wrangle, Analyze, Visualize (DSC-WAV) initiative at Amherst and Smith Colleges, funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). During the fall of 2021, three DSC-WAV undergraduates at Amherst College created the initial dashboard. Then, in the spring of 2022, four DSC-WAV students at Smith College expanded upon the work performed by the Amherst team. Finally, in summer of 2022, one member of the Smith DSC-WAV team finalized the dashboard, which included many data refinements, performing data integrity checks, and making multiple coding adjustments. 
    • As a result of these steadfast efforts, SPIFFY built an interactive data dashboard that consists of Prevention Needs Assessment Survey (PNAS) data dating back to 2007. Users can select from a variety of parameters and drop-down menu options to explore changes in youth substance use and risk and protective factors over time. One of the key features of the dashboard is the ability to disaggregate trend data and examine outcomes for specific groups of youth (e.g., look at rates of cannabis use over time for trans and non-binary youth compared to cis girls and boys). SPIFFY’s hope is that this dashboard will empower users to independently analyze PNAS data, explore results in new and creative ways, and in result, identify novel approaches to promoting the health and well-being of all Hampshire County youth
  • Cannabis Establishments in Hampshire County: An interactive Google Map 
  • Health Information Exchange (HIE)  (Resource here):  The HIE database compiles regional and state data such as emergency department overdose data and makes certain types of data more rapidly available than previously possible such as Massachusetts Department of Public Health data. The sources and kinds of data available are diverse. Contributing partners include municipalities, healthcare providers, allies with shared initiatives, agencies and a host of other community sector leaders. If you have questions about this resource, you can email Austin Sanders, Regional Database Project Manager in the Northampton Health Dept. at: 
  • Tobacco impact in your neighborhood (Resource here 
  • Springfield Youth Health Survey Interactive Data Portal
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