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Evidence-Based Programs Categories

Evidence-Based Programs Categories

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Programs listed come from four registries: 1) Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development; 2) College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (AIM); 3) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide; and 4) Washington State's Excellence in Prevention Strategy List. The registries provide information on various programs that have demonstrated evidence related to substance misuse outcomes and associated risk and/or protective factors. Evidence for each registry is identified differently.

For the Blueprints registry, programs' level of evidence are categorized as either "Model and Model Plus" or "Promising." Model and Model Plus programs have demonstrated efficacy for changing outcomes over time and are recommended for large-scale implementation. Promising programs show promise of efficacy, but require follow-up research before being recommended for large-scale adoption.

Only programs identified as having "moderate effectiveness" and "higher effectiveness" from the College AIM registry were included in this list.

The Model Programs Guide registry's "effective" rating is defined as programs having strong evidence that they achieve their intended outcomes when implemented with fidelity. The "promising" rating refers to programs that have some evidence indicating they achieve their intended outcomes and that additional research is recommended.

The programs in this list that came from the Excellence in Prevention Strategy List registry were shown in at least two studies to have produced the intended results.

Find access dates, direct links, and filters used, where applicable in the notes below.

Target Population:

Target population is categorized into the following groups:

Early childhood (0 - 5)

Late childhood (6 - 11)

Early adolescence (12 - 14)

Childhood to early adolescence (6 - 14)

Late adolescence (15 - 18)

Childhood to late adolescence (6 - 18)

Early adulthood (19 - 25)

Adulthood (26 - 55)

Older adulthood (56+)

Program Outcomes:

The program outcomes refer to the target areas that the programs wish to address.

IOM Category:

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) category classifies prevention interventions based on level of risk for substance abuse: Indicated, Selective, and Universal.

Indicated - strategies designed to prevent the onset of substance abuse in individuals who do not meet DSM-IV criteria for addiction, but who are showing early danger signs, such as failing grades and consumption of alcohol and other gateway drugs. The mission of indicated prevention is to identify individuals who are exhibiting early signs of substance abuse and other problem behaviors associated with substance abuse and to target them with special programs.

Selective - strategies that target subsets of the total population that are deemed to be at risk for substance abuse by virtue of their membership in a particular population segment - for example, children of adult alcoholics, dropouts, or students who are failing academically. Selective prevention targets the entire subgroup regardless of degree of risk of any individual within the group.

Universal - strategies that address the entire population (national, local community, school, and neighborhood) with messages and programs aimed at preventing or delaying the abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. For example, it would include the general population and subgroups such as pregnant women, children, adolescents, and the elderly.


Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development programs included in this search were found by clicking on "Program Outcomes," expanding "Problem Behavior," and selecting the filters "alcohol" and "illicit drugs," accessed on 11/17/2021 at

College Alcohol Intervention Matrix (AIM) programs included in this list were found by selecting "individual strategies" and only included programs that were listed at the "higher effectiveness" and "moderate effectiveness" levels, accessed on 11/30/2021 at

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention's Model Programs Guide programs included in this list were found by expanding the "Topics" section and selecting "substance abuse" and "underage drinking" under the "Child Protection, Health, and Welfare" heading; and expanding "Evidence Rating and Keyword Filters," clicking on "By Evidence," and selecting "effective" and "promising" ratings. Accessed on 11/23/2021 at

Washington State's Excellence in Prevention Strategy List programs selected for this list using the filters "0-5," "6-12," "3-17," and "18-25" under age selections and "alcohol" and "drugs" under problem areas to address, accessed on 11/22/2021 at