Excellence in Prevention Strategy List
Youth Cannabis Use Prevention
- Youth Cannabis Use Prevention List
effective July 1, 2023
Opioid Use Prevention
Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention
- Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention List
effective July 1, 2023
The Programs & practices for youth marijuana use prevention report provides an overview of DBHR's collaborative process to determine the above program lists.
Welcome to the Excellence in Prevention Strategies List. This page provides detailed information about direct service and environmental prevention strategies. Programs and strategies in this list must be shown in at least two studies to produce intended results. All programs listed include substance abuse prevention as an area of interest.
The strategies described in this list come from three primary resources:
- National Registry for Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP)
- The State of Oregon’s list of evidence-based programs
- The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation’s “Scientific Evidence for Developing a Logic Model on Underage Drinking: A Reference Guide for Community Environmental Prevention.”
Use the search box or the questions below to help you narrow your search.
Athletes Training and Learning To Avoid Steroids (ATLAS) is a school-based drug prevention program. ATLAS was designed for male high school athletes to deter drug use and promote healthy nutrition and exercise as alternatives to drugs. The curriculum consists of 10 45- minute interactive classroom sessions and 3 exercise training sessions facilitated by peer educators, coaches, and strength trainers. 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.
The Child Development Project (CDP) is a comprehensive, elementary school-based intervention program. CDP incorporates class meetings, learning activities for partners and small groups, and open-ended discussions on literature to enhance students’ social, ethical, and intellectual development. CDP is based on the belief that prevention efforts are most likely to be effective when they occur early in a child’s development, before antisocial behavioral patterns have a chance to become firmly established. CDP emphasizes the promotion of positive development rather than the prevention of disorder. The central goal of CDP is to help schools become "caring communities of learners" by offering an environment of caring, supportive, and collaborative relationships to build students’ sense of community in school and to promote school bonding.
Class Action is the second phase of the Project Northland alcohol-use prevention curriculum series. Class Action (for grades 11-12) and Project Northland (for grades 6-8) are 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 draws upon the social influence theory of behavior change, using interactive, peer-led sessions to explore the real-world legal and social consequences of substance abuse. The curriculum consists of 8-10 group sessions in which students divide into teams to research, prepare, and present mock civil cases involving hypothetical persons harmed as a result of underage drinking. Using a casebook along with audio-taped affidavits and depositions, teens review relevant statutes and case law to build legal cases they then present to a jury of their peers. Case topics include drinking and driving, fetal alcohol syndrome, drinking and violence, date rape, drinking and vandalism, and school alcohol policies. Students also research community issues around alcohol use and become involved in local events to support community awareness of the problem of underage drinking.
Please note that for DBHR Prevention grantees, Class Action is only considered an Evidence-based Practice (EBP) when implemented as a booster session for the Project Northland series.
Across Ages is a school- and community-based substance abuse prevention program for youth ages 9 to 13. The unique feature of Across Ages is the pairing of older adult mentors (55 years and older) with young adolescents, specifically those making the transition to middle school. The overall goal of the program is to increase protective factors for high-risk students to prevent, reduce, or delay the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs and the problems associated with substance use. The four intervention components are (1) a minimum of 2 hours per week of mentoring by older adults who are recruited from the community, matched with youth, and trained to serve as mentors; (2) 1-2 hours of weekly community service by youth, including regular visits to frail elders in nursing homes; (3) monthly weekend social and recreational activities for youth, their families, and mentors; and (4) 26 45-minute social competence training lessons taught weekly in the classroom using the Social Problem-Solving Module of the Social Competence Promotion Program for Young Adolescents developed by Roger Weissberg and colleagues.
The Coping Power Program (CPP) is a cognitive-based intervention delivered to aggressive children and their parents during the children’s transition to middle school. The program aims to increase competence, study skills, social skills, and self-control in aggressive children as well as improving parental involvement in their child’s education.
The Coping Power Program is a multi-component intervention based heavily on cognitive–behavioral therapy, which emphasizes increasing and exercising parenting skills and the child’s social skills. The child component of CPP draws from anger management programs that concentrate on decision-making, attributions, and peer pressure.
The program has a component aimed at the parents of children in intervention classrooms. The child component of CPP lasts 16 months and includes 22 fifth grade sessions and 12 sixth grade sessions. The parent component is administered over 16 sessions, which provides the parents with instruction on parenting skills, including rule setting, appropriate punishment, stress management, and family communication.
The parent component concentrates on parenting and stress-management skills, while the child component involves the use of school-based focus groups and emphasizes anger management and social problem–solving skills. Parents also meet with CPP staff to help them understand and prepare for future adolescence-related and general education issues, and to give them the tools necessary for a smooth transition to middle school.
Familias Unidas is a family-based intervention for Hispanic families with children ages 12-17. The program is designed to prevent conduct disorders; use of illicit drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes; and risky sexual behaviors by improving family functioning. Familias Unidas is guided by eco-developmental theory, which proposes that adolescent behavior is affected by a multiplicity of risk and protective processes operating at different levels (i.e., within family, within peer network, and beyond), often with compounding effects. The program is also influenced by culturally specific models developed for Hispanic populations in the United States.
The intervention is delivered primarily through multi-parent groups, which aim to develop effective parenting skills, and family visits, during which parents are encouraged to apply those skills while interacting with their adolescent. The multi-parent groups, led by a trained facilitator, meet in weekly 2-hour sessions for the duration of the intervention. Each group has 10 to 12 parents, with at least 1 parent from each participating family. Sessions include problem posing and participatory exercises. Group discussions aim to increase parents' understanding of their role in protecting their adolescent from harm and to facilitate parental investment.
Guiding Good Choices (GGC) is a drug use prevention program that provides parents of children in grades 4 through 8 (9 to 14 years old) 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. GGC is based on research that shows that consistent, positive parental involvement is important to helping children resist substance use and other antisocial behaviors. Formerly known as Preparing for the Drug Free Years, this program was revised in 2003 with more family activities and exercises. The current intervention is a five-session curriculum that addresses preventing substance abuse in the family, setting clear family expectations regarding drugs and alcohol, avoiding trouble, managing family conflict, and strengthening family bonds. Sessions are interactive and skill based, with opportunities for parents to practice new skills and receive feedback, and use video-based vignettes to demonstrate parenting skills. Families also receive a Family Guide containing family activities, discussion topics, skill-building exercises, and information on positive parenting.
Hip-Hop 2 Prevent Substance Abuse and HIV (H2P) is designed to improve knowledge and skills related to drugs and HIV/AIDS among youth ages 12-16 with the aim of preventing or reducing their substance use and risky sexual activity. The program incorporates aspects of hip-hop culture--including language, arts, and history--as a social, cultural, and contextual framework for addressing substance use and HIV risk behaviors.
H2P uses a curriculum consisting of 10 modules, called "ciphers," delivered in 10 2-hour sessions. Through the curriculum's use of hip-hop culture, an interactive, multimedia CD, and a mix of traditional teaching methods, students learn information about drugs, HIV/AIDS, and sexual behavior; resistance and refusal skills; effective communication and negotiation skills; information about healthy alternatives to sex and drugs; and prevention self-efficacy skills.
School staff (e.g., teachers, counselors) deliver the first four modules in after-school or in-school sessions and the remaining modules at H2P camp, a 3-day retreat offering students structured learning and recreational activities, team-building experiences, mentoring, and opportunities for creative expression. Prior to serving as instructors, school staff participates in a 1-day training to learn about the genesis, ideology, and cultural components of hip-hop.
Keepin' it REAL is a multicultural, school-based substance use prevention program for students 12-14 years old. Keepin' it REAL uses a 10-lesson curriculum taught by trained classroom teachers in 45-minute sessions over 10 weeks, with booster sessions delivered in the following school year. 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 narrative and performance-based curriculum draws from communication competence theory and a culturally grounded resiliency model to incorporate traditional ethnic values and practices that protect against 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.
LifeSkills Training (LST) is a school-based program that aims to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and 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. Consistent with this theoretical framework, 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. LST is designed to provide information relevant to the important life transitions that adolescents and young teens face, using culturally sensitive and developmentally and age-appropriate language and content. Facilitated discussion, structured small group activities, and role-playing scenarios are used to stimulate participation and promote the acquisition of skills. Separate LST programs are offered for elementary school (grades 3-6), middle school (grades 6-9), and high school (grades 9-12); the research studies and outcomes reviewed for this summary involved middle school students.
Please note that the Botvin Middle School Version (Grades 6, 7, and 8) is considered an Evidence-based Program for DBHR Prevention grantees.
Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (SFA) is a multi-component, comprehensive life skills education program designed for school wide and classroom implementation in grades 6-8 (ages 10-14). The goal of Lions Quest programs is to help young people develop positive commitments to their families, schools, peers, and communities and to encourage healthy, drug-free lives. Lions Quest SFA unites educators, parents, and community members to utilize social influence and social cognitive approaches in developing the following skills and competencies in young adolescents: (1) essential social/emotional competencies, (2) good citizenship skills, (3) strong positive character, (4) skills and attitudes consistent with a drug-free lifestyle and (5) an ethic of service to others within a caring and consistent environment. The learning model employs inquiry, presentation, discussion, group work, guided practice, service-learning, and reflection to accomplish the desired outcomes. Lions Quest SFA is comprised of a series of 80 45-minute sequentially developed skill-building sessions, based on a distinct theme that may be adapted to a variety of settings or formats.
Project Northland is a multi-level 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. Administered to adolescents in grades 6-8 on a weekly basis, the program has a specific theme within each grade level that is incorporated into the parent, peer, and community components. The 6th-grade home-based program targets communication about adolescent alcohol use utilizing student-parent homework assignments, in-class group discussions, and a communitywide task force. The 7th-grade peer- and teacher-led curriculum focuses on resistance skills and normative expectations regarding teen alcohol use, and is implemented through discussions, games, problem-solving tasks, and role-plays. During the first half of the 8th-grade Powerlines peer-led program, students learn about community dynamics related to alcohol use prevention through small group and classroom interactive activities. During the second half, they work on community-based projects and hold a mock town meeting to make community policy recommendations to prevent teen alcohol use.
The Midwestern Prevention Project (MPP) was a comprehensive, community-based, multifaceted program intended to prevent or reduce gateway substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana) during adolescence. The program strived to help youths recognize the tremendous social pressures to use drugs and to provide them with assertiveness skills to help refuse peer pressure and avoid drug use. MPP was designed to eliminate gateway substance use in middle school students, to reduce the risk of delinquency along the lifespan.
The program was targeted at youths in the transitory period from early adolescence to middle adolescence, as this age presents a high risk for gateway drug use. The program was intended for use in a school-based setting for middle school students, specifically, sixth and seventh graders.
MPP disseminated an antidrug message to students through a system of well-coordinated, communitywide strategies that involved various areas that influence a middle school student’s life, including school, community, family, and mass media.
School. The central component for drug prevention programming is the school. The school component used active social learning techniques (modeling, role playing, and discussion, with student peer leaders assisting teachers). It was included in teachers’ curricula for middle school students and included homework that requires participation from parents in assignments.
Community/policy. A consistent message supporting a non–drug use norm was delivered through community organization and training, as well as through changes in local health policy regarding tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs. This component entailed training community leaders and government officials to plan prevention goals and strategies for implementation.
Parent. The parent education and organization component involved a parent–principal committee that met to review school drug policy and parent–child communications training, and was designed to occur within the school and the school neighborhood. This component was intended to motivate parents to participate in the furtherance of program goals.
Mass media. The mass media component was intended to promote the program’s antidrug message through various media, such as television, radio, and newspaper. Mass media programming was used to support the other components by introducing the program’s concepts to the entire community.
These components were introduced to the community in sequence at a rate of one a year, with the mass media component occurring throughout all the years. All components involved regular meetings of respective deliverers (for example, community leaders for organization) to review and refine programs. Overall, the interrelated components were intended to promote a comprehensive curriculum that disseminated a zero-tolerance attitude toward substance use. While the MPP was mainly school based, the program was designed to elicit participation from the community, schools, and family to promote a comprehensive approach to drug prevention. Therefore, proper implementation of the MPP curriculum required collaboration and effective communication between members from teachers, parents, principals, and student leaders. The MPP used a preventive approach to drug abuse, concentrating on the pressure that adolescents face regarding substance use. The program addressed the fact that adolescents ages 10 to 14 are highly susceptible to experimentation and peer pressure to use drugs and cigarettes, and that cigarette use during formative years can serve as a gateway to further drug use and delinquency. Also taking into account that school transition provides a critical risk period for smoking and risk behavior in youths, the program adopted a comprehensive school-based curriculum to prevent and reduce substance use in middle school students.
Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) is designed to prevent and reduce substance use among students 12 to 18 years of age. The program was originally developed for students attending alternative high schools who are at high risk for substance use and abuse due to poor academic performance, truancy, discipline problems, negative attitudes toward school, and parental substance abuse. In recent years, Project SUCCESS has been used in regular middle and high schools for a broader range of high-risk students. The intervention includes four components: The Prevention Education Series (PES), an eight-session alcohol, tobacco, and other drug program conducted by Project SUCCESS counselors (local staff trained by the developers) who help students identify and resist pressures to use substances, correct misperceptions about the prevalence and acceptability of substance use, and understand the consequences of substance use. School-wide activities and promotional materials to increase the perception of the harm of substance use, positively change social norms about substance use, and increase enforcement of and compliance with school policies and community laws. A parent program that includes informational meetings, parent education, and the formation of a parent advisory committee. Individual and group counseling, in which the Project SUCCESS counselors conduct time-limited counseling for youth following their participation in the PES and an individual assessment. Students and parents who require more intensive counseling, treatment, or other services are referred to appropriate agencies or practitioners in the community.
Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) is a drug use prevention program for high school youth. The current version of 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. It is packaged in 12 40-minute interactive sessions to be taught by teachers or health educators. The TND curriculum was developed for high-risk students in continuation or alternative high schools. It has also been tested among traditional high school students.
Project Venture is an outdoor experiential youth development program designed primarily for 5th- to 8th-grade 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. The central components of the program include a minimum of 20 1-hour classroom-based activities, such as problem-solving games and initiatives, conducted across the school year; weekly after-school, weekend, and summer skill-building experiential and challenge activities, such as hiking and camping; 3- to 10-day immersion summer adventure camps and wilderness treks; and community-oriented service learning and service leadership projects throughout the year.
Protecting You/Protecting Me (PY/PM) is a 5-year classroom-based alcohol use prevention and vehicle safety program for elementary school students in grades 1-5 (ages 6-11) and high school students in grades 11 and 12. The program aims to reduce alcohol-related injuries and death among children and youth due to underage alcohol use and riding in vehicles with drivers who are not alcohol free. PY/PM consists of a series of 40 science- and health-based lessons, with 8 lessons per year for grades 1-5. All lessons are correlated with educational achievement objectives. PY/PM lessons and activities focus on teaching children about (1) the brain--how it continues to develop throughout childhood and adolescence, what alcohol does to the developing brain, and why it is important for children to protect their brains; (2) vehicle safety, particularly what children can do to protect themselves if they have to ride with someone who is not alcohol free; and (3) life skills, including decision-making, stress management, media awareness, resistance strategies, and communication. Lessons are taught weekly and are 20-25 minutes or 45-50 minutes in duration, depending on the grade level. A variety of ownership activities promote students' ownership of the information and reinforces the skills taught during the lesson.
Parent take-home activities are offered for all 40 lessons. PY/PM's interactive and affective teaching processes include role-playing, small group and classroom discussions, reading, writing, storytelling, art, and music. The curriculum can be taught by school staff or prevention specialists. PY/PM also has a high school component for students in grades 11 and 12. The youth-led implementation model involves delivery of the PY/PM curriculum to elementary students by trained high school students who are enrolled in a peer mentoring, family and consumer science, or leadership course for credit. The program's benefits to high school students are derived from learning about the brain and how alcohol use can impact adolescents, serving as role models to the elementary school participants, and taking coursework in preparation for delivering the curriculum.
Say It Straight (SIS) is a communication training program designed to help students and adults develop empowering communication skills and behaviors and increase self-awareness, self-efficacy, and personal and social responsibility. In turn, the program aims to reduce risky or destructive behaviors such as substance use, eating disorders, bullying, violence, precocious sexual behavior, and behaviors that can result in HIV infection. SIS began as a school-based program for use in grades 3-12. Its application has been expanded to include students in detention and treatment, student mentors and mentees, parents, high-risk communities, adults in treatment, college students, and the homeless.
SIS is based in social learning and positive psychology, emphasizing values such as resiliency, courage, compassion, and integrity. The change process in SIS begins with the recognition of one's own disempowering behaviors and leads to awareness of one's own deepest wishes to choose empowering behaviors for wellness. These changes lead from relationships of submission and dominance to relationships of equal value. Building on SIS's principle of "rooting diversity in sameness," participants learn to identify with others even when they may disagree or have differences with them. By using a technique called "body sculpting" and creating and acting in role-plays or "movies," they explore how they feel when they engage in empowering and disempowering communication/behavior. In body sculpting, the participants place their bodies in postures that intensify and make overt their internal experiences; for example, a begging posture can be used to represent placating. The movies enable participants to act out difficult interpersonal situations that are important in their lives (e.g., alcohol or drug abuse, drinking and driving, speeding, cheating, stealing, bullying, violence, vandalism, sexual behavior). Movies can be videotaped to give participants the opportunity to observe themselves. SIS also incorporates feedback, journaling, and small- and large-group discussion. Through these processes, participants learn that by empowering themselves, they gain respect and empower others.
Sembrando Salud is a culturally sensitive, community-based tobacco- and alcohol-use prevention program specifically adapted for migrant Hispanic/Latino adolescents and their families. The program is designed to improve parent-child communication skills as a way of improving and maintaining healthy decisionmaking. Designed for youth 11 to 16 years of age, the 8-week curriculum for adolescents and their families is delivered by bilingual/bicultural college students in classrooms and meeting rooms in school-based settings.
The program interventions are a mix of interactive teaching methods including group discussions led by a leader, videos, demonstrations, skill practice, and role-playing. Adolescents are exposed to how problems can be identified and analyzed, solutions generated, and decisions made, implemented, and evaluated. There is also a focus on developing parental support for the healthy discussions and behaviors of adolescents through enhanced parent-child communications. Parental communication skills, such as listening, confirmation, and reassurance, also are developed.
The program develops new behavioral skills, such as refusing alcohol and tobacco offers, and communicating with peers and adults alike. Program Development Support The National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, funded development of Sembrando Salud.
SPORT is a brief, multiple behavior program integrating substance abuse prevention and fitness promotion to help adolescents minimize and avoid substance use while increasing physical activity and other health-promoting habits. It is based on the Behavior-Image Model, which asserts that social and self-images are key motivators for the development of healthy behavior. The intervention promotes the benefits of an active lifestyle with positive images of youth as active and fit, and emphasizes that substance use is counterproductive in achieving positive image and behavior goals. SPORT involves a short, self-administered health behavior screen survey measuring physical activity and sport behaviors and norms, healthy nutrition, sleep, and alcohol use. Participants then receive a 10- to 12-minute personally tailored consultation from a written script, along with a key facts handout. A simple fitness prescription goal plan is completed by participants to motivate positive behavior and image change. In addition, parent/caregiver communication cards addressing key content are provided during the consultation and then sent or mailed home to adolescents for 3 to 5 consecutive weeks.
Please note that for DBHR Prevention grantees, SPORT PPW is considered an Evidence-based Program only when implemented in one-on-one format, and not considered EBP when implemented in a group format.
Storytelling for Empowerment is a school-based, bilingual (English and Spanish) intervention for teenagers at risk for substance abuse, HIV, and other problem behaviors due to living in impoverished communities with high availability of drugs and limited health care services. The program primarily targets Latino/Latina youth and uses cognitive decision-making, positive cultural identity (cultural empowerment), and resiliency models of prevention as its conceptual underpinnings. Storytelling for Empowerment aims to decrease alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use by identifying and reducing factors in the individual, family, school, peer group, neighborhood/community, and society/media that place youth at high risk for ATOD use, while enhancing factors that may strengthen youth resiliency and protect against ATOD use. The core components of the intervention include the Storytelling PowerBook and the Facilitator's Guide. The PowerBook is a series of activity workbooks that include the following sections: Knowledge Power: brain physiology, physical effects of drugs Skill Power: decision-making strategies, role-playing Personal Power: multicultural stories, symbol making Character Power: multicultural historical figures, character traits Culture Power: defining culture, bi-culture, subculture; cultural symbols Future Power: multicultural role models, choosing a role model, goal setting
Other available adaptations of the PowerBook include the (1) StoryBook for HIV, with sections on science, risk factors, relationships, and self-efficacy, and (2) Stories To Live or Die By: Inhalants, Meth, Ecstasy, which teaches facts and myths about methamphetamine, ecstasy, and club drugs.
Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) is a school-based prevention program for kindergarten through 12th grade that builds on students' resiliency by teaching them how to be socially competent and autonomous problem solvers. The program is designed to benefit everyone in the school by providing needed education in social and emotional competencies and by reducing risk factors and building protective factors that affect students in these age groups. TGFD focuses on developing personal and interpersonal skills to resist peer pressures, goal setting, decision-making, bonding with others, having respect for self and others, managing emotions, effective communication, and social interactions. The program also provides information about the negative consequences of drug use and the benefits of a nonviolent, drug- free lifestyle. TGFD has developmentally appropriate curricula for each grade level through 8th grade, with a separate high school curriculum for students in grades 9 through 12. The K-8 curricula each include 10 weekly, 30- to 60-minute lessons, and the high school curriculum includes 14 weekly, 1-hour lessons plus 12 1-hour "infusion" lessons designed to incorporate and reinforce skills taught in the core curriculum through academic infusion in subject areas such as English, social studies, and science/health. Ideally, implementation begins with all school personnel (e.g., teachers, secretaries, janitors) participating in a 10-hour staff development program, which can be implemented either as a series of 1-hour sessions or as a 1- or 2-day workshop.