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WHY SHOULD WE USE EVIDENCE-BASED PROGRAMS TO PREVENT SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG YOUTH?

Why use evidence-based prevention programs? First, there are increasing calls from funders, administrators and practitioners to use (even requiring the use of) prevention interventions with at least some documented evidence of effectiveness.

Second, we live in a time with greater emphasis on accountability, in nearly all professional arenas, to demonstrate positive outcomes from our increasingly scarce resources.

Third, increased importance has been recently given to the need for translating scientific outcomes into real life practical solutions, including results from prevention science.

Lastly, changes in our drug control and health care policies have stressed the adoption of evidence-based practices and programs over those with no or little evidence as a central national strategy.

Still, by most accounts the adoption of evidence-based prevention programs in our schools, communities, clinics, worksites and homes has been slow.

One key barrier is a lack of awareness of existing online databases of evidence-based programs and practices. These include SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) which can be found at: http://nrepp.samhsa.gov/, and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development at: http://www.colorado.edu/cspv/blueprints/.

There are likely other barriers to greater use of evidence-based prevention programs.

But use of an evidence-based prevention program starts with knowing where first to look to find them.


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