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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Alcohol and Drug Prevention and Therapy/Treatment

NCJ Number
Date Published
March 2015
15 pages
Based on a literature review, this study describes several types of alcohol and drug prevention programs in terms of their target populations and various program components, and examples of evidence-based programs are provided.
Regarding programs for school-aged youth, school-based curricula delivered in an interactive format with smaller groups of students have been shown to produce positive, lasting results (Tobler and Stratton, 1997). Regarding programs for young children, evidence suggests that programs implemented at earlier stages in a child's life may be more effective in prevention efforts and behavior adjustments than programs implemented in later adolescent years, especially for high-risk populations (Webster-Stratton et al., 2008). Family-based programs focus on parental influence, parenting skills, and family cohesion as major factors in substance abuse prevention (Cleveland, Feinberg, and Jones, 2010). In a discussion of the limitations of prevention programs, this paper notes that although such programs have decreased the number of youth who experiment with substances, there are still many limitations in prevention efforts. One challenge is to identify and overcome barriers to program fidelity. For youths currently involved in drug or alcohol-related problems, particularly those involved in the juvenile justice system, more intensive treatment services are needed. Some treatment methods discussed in this paper are motivational interviewing and family-inclusive therapy. The paper concludes that selecting appropriate evidence-based drug and alcohol abuse prevention and treatment programs should be based on a number of factors, such as the targeted population, the setting, the extent of the alcohol and drug problem in a particular community, and available resources. 51 references

Date Published: March 1, 2015