How to Find the Best Substance Abuse Programs-Crime in America.Net

People need to find the most effective substance abuse interventions. SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) is one of a few (very few) federal agencies providing a detailed approach to operations. Other agencies claim adherence to an evidence-based approach but SAMHSA actually does it. They provide a searchable database of proven programs that fit specific needs. For example, if you click on the criminal and juvenile justice category, you get 28 well-researched programs to emulate.

SAMHSA has been around for a long time; they have had decades to improve their delivery of information. Hopefully, other agencies within the criminal justice community can improve their websites to emulate the SAMHSA model. We need precise guidelines telling us what to do and how to do it. Most of us have been waiting a long time for that to happen.

CrimeinAmerica.Net staff.

National Registry Highlights Comparative Effectiveness Research

Looking for evidence-based practices to use in your own program? SAMHSA has made the process easier by adding a new search feature to its National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) Web site.

The feature allows people to identify NREPP interventions that have been evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies.

Using the Feature

To use this new search feature, go to, click “Find Interventions,” and click the checkbox labeled “Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies” under “Implementation History.” Then, search for an intervention that fits your organization’s needs.

For example, a search for “substance abuse” retrieves 64 options that have been evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies, ranging in focus from behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse to a school-based anti-steroid program.

In fact, several highlighted interventions—including Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach, Family Support Network, and Multidimensional Family Therapy—were included in a SAMHSA-funded comparison of different approaches to treating adolescent cannabis use.

A search for “trauma” yields eight interventions, focusing on trauma-informed substance abuse treatment for women, and for people with co-occurring disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, for instance.

The NREPP database currently includes 151 interventions. For more information about how to use NREPP to identify specific interventions or how to submit an intervention for NREPP review, visit the NREPP Web 1-866-43-NREPP (1-866-436-7377), or email



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