Evidence Based Programs

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A Collection of Shared Best Practices

The NYS Office of Alcoholism & Substance Abuse Services has developed a comprehensive listing of approved Evidence Based Programs utlized by prevention providers (as of February 2010).

(Download the full listing + various rankings and age breakdowns)


1 Across Ages


Across Ages is a school- and community-based substance abuse prevention program. Across Ages pairs older adult mentors (55 years and older) with young adolescents to prevent, reduce, or delay the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and the problems associated with substance use.


2 Active Parenting Now


Active Parenting Now is a video-based education program targeted to parents of 2- to 12-year-olds who want to improve their parenting skills. The program teaches parents how to raise a child by using encouragement, building the child's self-esteem, and creating a relationship with the child based upon active listening, honest communication, and problem solving. It also teaches parents to use natural and logical consequences to reduce irresponsible and unacceptable behaviors.


3 Al's Pals


Al's Pals is a school-based prevention program that seeks to develop social-emotional skills such as self-control, problem-solving, and healthy decision-making. Al's Pals helps young children regulate their own feelings and behavior; creates and maintains a classroom environment of caring, cooperation, respect, and responsibility; teaches conflict resolution and peaceful problem-solving; promotes appreciation of differences and positive social relationships; prevents and addresses bullying behavior; conveys clear messages about the harms of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs; and builds children's abilities to make healthy choices and cope with life's difficulties.


4 All Stars


All Stars is a multiyear school-based program designed to prevent and delay the onset of high-risk behaviors such as drug use, violence, and premature sexual activity. The program focuses on five topics important to preventing high-risk behaviors: (1) developing positive ideals that do not fit with high-risk behavior; (2) creating a belief in conventional norms; (3) building strong personal commitments; (4) bonding with school, prosocial institutions, and family; and (5) increasing positive parental attentiveness.




ATLAS is a school-based drug prevention program designed for male high school athletes to deter drug use and promote healthy nutrition and exercise as alternatives to drugs. Program content includes (1) discussion of sports nutrition; (2) exercise alternatives to anabolic steroids and sports supplements; and (3) the effects of substance abuse in sports, drug refusal role-playing, and the creation of health promotion messages.


6 Big Brothers/Big Sisters of America (SAMHSA Legacy Program)


Big Brothers/Big Sisters aims to improve youths' prosocial behaviors, academic achievement, and family and peer relationships. A program case manager matches an adult volunteer, known as a Big Brother or Big Sister, to a child, known as a Little Brother or Little Sister, with the expectation that a caring and supportive relationship will develop. A case manager selects, monitors, and eventually closes the relationship with the volunteer and child, and communicates with the volunteer, parent/guardian, and the child throughout the matched relationship.


7 Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASICS)


BASICS is a prevention program for college students who drink alcohol heavily and have experienced or are at risk for alcohol-related problems. BASICS aims to motivate students to reduce alcohol use in order to decrease the negative consequences of drinking. Based on principles of motivational interviewing, BASICS is aimed at revealing the discrepancy between the student's risky drinking behavior and his or her goals and values. BASICS may be tailored for use with young adults in settings other than colleges.

8 Brief Strategic Family Therapy

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BSFT is designed to (1) prevent, reduce, and/or treat adolescent behavior problems such as drug use, conduct problems, delinquency, sexually risky behavior, aggressive/violent behavior, and association with antisocial peers; (2) improve prosocial behaviors such as school attendance and performance; and (3) improve family functioning


9 Caring School Community


CSC is a program aimed at promoting positive youth development. The CSC model aims to increase student achievement meet students' needs for emotional and physical safety, supportive relationships, autonomy, and sense of competence. The program seeks to promote prosocial values, increase academic motivation and achievement, and prevent drug use, violence, and delinquency.




CASASTART is a community-based, school-centered substance abuse and violence prevention program. Specific program objectives include reducing drug and alcohol use, reducing involvement in drug trafficking, decreasing associations with delinquent peers, improving school performance, and reducing violent offenses.


11 Challenging College Alcohol Abuse


CCAA is a social norms and environmental management program aimed at reducing high-risk drinking and related negative consequences among college students. CCAA uses a campus-based media campaign and other strategies to address misperceptions about alcohol and make the campus environment less conducive to drinking.


12 Children in the Middle


CIM is an educational intervention for divorcing families that aims to reduce the parental conflict, loyalty pressures, and communication problems that can place significant stress on children. The intervention teaches specific parenting skills to reduce the familial conflict experienced by children.


13 Class Action


Class Action is the second phase of Project Northland. Class Action is designed to delay the onset of alcohol use, reduce use among youths who have already tried alcohol, and limit the number of alcohol related problems experienced by young drinkers. Class Action uses interactive, peer-led sessions to explore the real-world legal and social consequences of substance abuse.


14 Coping With Work and Family Stress


Coping With Work and Family Stress is a workplace preventive intervention designed to teach how to deal with stressors at work and at home.


15 Creating Lasting Family Connections


CLFC is a family-focused program that aims to build the resiliency of youth and reduce the frequency of their alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. CLFC is designed to be implemented through a community system, such as churches, schools, recreation centers, and court-referred settings. The program emphasizes early intervention services for parents and youth and follow-up case management services for families.


16 DARE to be You


DTBY is a multilevel prevention program that serves high-risk families with children 2 to 5 years old.  Program objectives focus on children's developmental attainments and aspects of parenting that contribute to youth resilience to later substance abuse, including parental self-efficacy, effective child rearing, social support, and problem-solving skills.


17 Early Risers "Skills for Success"


Early Risers "Skills for Success" is a multicomponent program that targets elementary school students who are at high risk for early development of conduct problems. The program uses integrated interventions to move high-risk children onto a more adaptive developmental pathway. The child focused components consist of a Summer Day Camp, School Year Friendship Groups and School Support.  The family-focused components include Family Nights with Parent Education and Family Support.


18 Families and Schools Together ram.html



FAST is a multifamily group intervention designed to build relationships between families, schools, and communities to increase well-being among elementary school children to enhance family functioning, prevent school failure, prevent substance misuse by the children and other family members, and reduce the stress that children and parents experience in daily situations.


19 Family Matters


Family Matters is a family-directed program to prevent adolescents from using tobacco and alcohol. The intervention is designed to influence population-level prevalence and can be implemented with large numbers of geographically dispersed families. The program encourages communication among family members and focuses on general family characteristics and substance-specific characteristics.


20 Guiding Good Choices


GGC is a drug use prevention program that provides parents with the knowledge and skills needed to guide their children through early adolescence. It seeks to strengthen and clarify family expectations for behavior, enhance the conditions that promote bonding within the family, and teach skills that allow children to resist drug use successfully.


21 Healthy Workplace


Healthy Workplace is a set of substance abuse prevention interventions for the workplace that are designed for workers who are not substance-dependent and still have the power to make choices about their substance use. Healthy Workplace interventions integrate substance abuse prevention materials into popular health promotion programs to defuse the stigma of substance abuse and reducing barriers to help-seeking behavior.


22 High/Scope Perry Preschool Program


The HighScope Curriculum is an early childhood education program that aims to enhance children's cognitive, socioemotional, and physical development, imparting skills that will help children succeed in school and be more productive and responsible throughout their lives.


23 Incredible Years


Incredible Years is a set of comprehensive, multifaceted, and developmentally based curricula. The parent, child, and teacher training interventions that compose Incredible Years are guided by developmental theory on the role of multiple interacting risk and protective factors in the development of conduct problems. The three program components are designed to work jointly to promote emotional and social competence and to prevent, reduce, and treat behavioral and emotional problems in young children.


24 Keep A Clear Mind

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KACM is a take-home drug education program for elementary students and their parents. KACM is designed to help children develop specific skills to refuse and avoid use of drugs.


25 Keepin’ It REAL


Keepin' it REAL is a multicultural, school-based substance use prevention program. The curriculum is designed to help students assess the risks associated with substance abuse, enhance decision making and resistance strategies, improve antidrug normative beliefs and attitudes, and reduce substance use.  The curriculum places special emphasis on resistance strategies represented in the acronym "REAL" (Refuse offers to use substances, Explain why you do not want to use substances, Avoid situations in which substances are used, and Leave situations in which substances are used).


26 Leadership and Resiliency Program (SAMHSA Legacy Program)


The Leadership and Resiliency Program (LRP) is a school- and community-based program that enhances youths internal strengths and resiliency while preventing involvement in substance use and violence. The program includes participants participating in adventure/outdoor activities, working with abused and neglected animals, and performing puppet skits for young children. The activities focus on community service, altruism, learning about managed risk, social skills improvement, and conflict resolution.


27 LifeSkillsTraining


LST is a school-based program that aims to prevent alcohol, tobacco, marijuana use and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. LST is based on both the social influence and competence enhancement models of prevention. LST addresses multiple risk and protective factors and teaches personal and social skills that build resilience and help youth navigate developmental tasks, including the skills necessary to understand and resist pro-drug influences.


28 Lions-Quest Skills for Adolescence


Lions-Quest SFA is a multicomponent, comprehensive life skills education program designed for school-wide and classroom implementation. The goal of SFA is to help young people develop positive commitments to their families, schools, peers, and communities and to encourage healthy, drug-free lives.


29 Multidimensional Family Therapy


(MDFT) is a multi-systemic family-based outpatient or partial hospitalization (day treatment) program for substance-abusing adolescents, adolescents with co-occurring substance use and mental disorders, and those at high risk for continued substance abuse and other problem behaviors. Working with the individual youth and their family, MDFT helps the youth develop more effective coping and problem solving skills for better decision making and helps the family improve interpersonal functioning as a protective factor against substance abuse and related problems.


30 Olweus Bullying Prevention (NREPP Pending)


The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program is designed to improve peer relations and make schools safer, more positive places for students to learn and develop. Goals of the program include: Reducing existing bullying problems among students, Preventing new bullying problems, Achieving better peer relations at school.


31 Parenting Wisely


Parenting Wisely is a set of interactive, computer-based training programs for parents of children ages 3-18 years. The programs aim to increase parental communication and disciplinary skills. Parenting Wisely is designed for parents whose preteens and teens are at risk for or are exhibiting behavior problems such as substance abuse, delinquency, and school dropout.


32 Positive Action


Positive Action is an integrated and comprehensive program that is designed to improve academic achievement; school attendance; and problem behaviors such as substance use, violence, suspensions, disruptive behaviors, dropping out, and sexual behavior. It is also designed to improve parent-child bonding, family cohesion, and family conflict.


33 Primary Project


Primary Project is a school-based program designed for early detection and prevention of school adjustment difficulties. Targeted outcomes for children in Primary Project include increased task orientation, behavior control, assertiveness, and peer social skills.


34 Project ACHIEVE


Project ACHIEVE is a comprehensive school reform and improvement program for preschool through high school that focuses on students' academic, social-emotional/behavioral, and social skills outcomes; school wide positive behavioral support systems and school safety; positive classroom and school climates; and community and parent outreach and involvement.


35 Project ALERT


Project ALERT is a school-based prevention program for middle or junior high school students that focus on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. It seeks to prevent adolescent nonusers from experimenting with these drugs, and to prevent youths who are already experimenting from becoming more regular users or abusers. Based on the social influence model of prevention, the program is designed to help motivate young people to avoid using drugs and to teach them the skills they need to understand and resist pro-drug social influences.


36 Project Northland


Project Northland is a multilevel intervention involving students, peers, parents, and community in programs designed to delay the age at which adolescents begin drinking, reduce alcohol use among those already drinking, and limit the number of alcohol-related problems among young drinkers.


37 Project SUCCESS


Project SUCCESS is designed to prevent and reduce substance use. The intervention includes four components: 1. The Prevention Education Series (PES), that helps students identify and resist pressures to use substances, correct misperceptions and understand the consequences of substance use. 2. School wide activities and promotional materials to increase the perception of the harm, positively change social norms, and increase enforcement and compliance with school policies and community laws. 3. A parent program that includes informational meetings, parent education, and formation of a parent advisory committee. 4. Individual and group counseling, following their participation in the PES and an individual assessment.


38 Project Toward No Drug Abuse


Project TND is a drug use prevention program for high school youth. The curriculum is designed to help students develop self-control and communication skills, acquire resources that help them resist drug use, improve decision making strategies, and develop the motivation to not use drugs.


39 Project Towards No Tobacco Use


Project TNT is a classroom-based curriculum that aims to prevent and reduce tobacco use. Project TNT is based on the premise that youth will be better able to resist tobacco use if they are aware of misleading information that facilitates tobacco use, have skills that counteract the social pressures to obtain approval by using tobacco, and appreciate the physical consequences of tobacco use.


40 Project Venture


Project Venture is an outdoor experiential youth development program designed primarily American Indian youth. It aims to develop the social and emotional competence that facilitates youths' resistance to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Based on traditional American Indian values such as family, learning from the natural world, spiritual awareness, service to others, and respect, Project Venture's approach is positive and strengths based. The program is designed to foster the development of positive self-concept, effective social interaction skills, a community service ethic, an internal locus of control, and improved decision making and problem-solving skills.


41 Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies


PATHS is a school-based preventive interventions for children in elementary school. The interventions are designed to enhance areas of social-emotional development such as self-control, self-esteem, emotional awareness, social skills, friendships, and interpersonal problem-solving skills while reducing aggression and other behavior problems.


42 Protecting You/Protecting Me®



Protecting You/Protecting Me is MADD’s innovative alcohol-use prevention curriculum for children in grades 1-5.  Research shows that the risk for alcohol and other drug use skyrockets when children enter the sixth grade, between the ages of 12 and 13.  To be effective in preventing alcohol use by teenagers, we must reach out to and educate children before the risk appears. PY/PM focuses on teaching children about (1) what alcohol does to the developing brain (2) vehicle safety- to protect themselves if they have to ride with someone who is not alcohol free; and (3) life skills,


43 Reconnecting Youth


Reconnecting Youth is a school-based prevention program that teaches skills to build resiliency against risk factors and control early signs of substance abuse and emotional distress. RY targets youth who demonstrate poor school achievement and high potential for school dropout.


44 Residential Student Assistance Program


(RSAP) is designed to prevent and reduce AOD use among high-risk multi-problem youth ages 12 to 18 years who have been placed voluntarily or involuntarily in a residential child care facility


45 Responding in Peaceful and PositiveWays


RiPP is a school-based violence prevention program for middle school students. RiPP is designed to be implemented along with a peer mediation program. Students practice using a social-cognitive   problem solving model to identify and choose nonviolent strategies for dealing with conflict.


46 Schools and Families Educating Children (SAFE Children)


SAFE Children is a family-focused preventive intervention designed to increase academic achievement and decrease risk for later drug abuse and associated problems such as aggression, school failure, and low social competence. SAFE Children targets 1st-grade children and their families living in inner-city neighborhoods.