Office of Alcoholism and
Substance Abuse Services


Evidence-Based Program and Practices (EBPs) for Prevention

Evidence-based programs and practices (EBPs) have produced scientific and peer reviewed evidence that they are effective in preventing substance abuse and other youth problem behaviors. These EBPs include educational curricula, multi-component school-based programs and environmental strategies.

Educational EBPs teach critical life and social skills, increase knowledge on addictions and the consequences of substance use, improve attitudes towards substance use, and can decrease normative misperceptions regarding levels of peer substance use. The developmentally appropriate social competency skills taught include decision-making, assertiveness and substance use refusal skills, stress-management, self-control and conflict resolution. EBP prevention education also includes structured curricula to assist parents and families in identifying and reducing family risk factors, learning about the effects of substance abuse on families and better understanding child and adolescent development to improve positive parenting.

Environmental EBP prevention strategies are designed to change the community, social, and economic contexts in which people access alcohol, tobacco, or other illicit drugs. They are primarily aimed at influencing behavior through the establishment and enforcement of laws, policies, and regulations. The most effective environmental strategies rely on a three-pronged approach: the implementation of a policy (which should include consequences for not abiding by the policy), media to raise awareness and support for the policy and its consequences, and enforcement of the policy and its consequences. Read more about Environmental EBPs.

These EBPs for substance abuse prevention are cost effective for New York. According to in-depth analyses, estimates of the dollars saved for every dollar spent for EBP education models delivered in New York State ranged from $8 to $56.

Increasing the delivery of EBPs in New York is an OASAS statewide priority and for 2012, OASAS funded providers must allocate 40 percent or more of their efforts to delivering EBPs. This required percentage will increase annually until it reaches 70 percent. Applying science to practice and learning from service to science will result in the best use of public funds - supporting interventions that have strongest evidence of effectiveness in reducing substance use and abuse.