In the third installment of our series on evidence-based and evidence-informed programs and practices, we are addressing substance abuse prevention and treatment interventions for children and youth.  Listed below are the ones that the North Carolina Practice Improvement Collaborative (NC PIC) has reviewed.

Strengthening Families Program is a family skills training program; it has different packages for children (ages 3-16 and ages 6-11), youth (ages 10-14), and their parents.  Outcomes address children’s internalizing and externalizing behaviors; parenting practices/parenting efficacy; and family relationships.  Several registries have reviewed the models and found the evidence of effectiveness to vary by level.  NREPP reviewed the program for ages 3-16 and found that the quality of research ranged from 3.0 to 3.3, with an overall rating readiness of dissemination of 3.9.  OJJDP Model Programs Guide reviewed the program for ages 6-12 and deemed it as having no effects (please note that all the OJJDP links were not working at the time of this post release).  NREPP, OJJDP Model Programs Guide, and Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development reviewed the program for parents and youth ages 10-14 2011 and deemed it as promising.

Seven Challenges is a program for adolescents with drug and other behavioral issues.  During the course of the program, the counselor integrates the seven challenges, which address the outcomes of reducing substance use and related problems and mitigating the symptoms of mental health problems.  NREPP found that the quality of research ranged from 1.0 to 4.0, with fidelity receiving low scores but reliability and validity receiving high scores.  The overall rating readiness of dissemination received the highest rating of 4.0.

Media Detective is a media literacy education program for children in grades 3-5. The purpose is to prevent or delay the onset of underage alcohol and tobacco use by enhancing the critical thinking skills of students so they can deconstruct media messages, understand the intent of advertising to sell alcohol and tobacco products, and encourage healthy beliefs and attitudes about abstaining from alcohol and tobacco use.  Both NREPP and the OJJDP Model Programs Guide reviewed it and deemed it a promising practice.

Media Ready is a media literacy education program for children in grades 6-8.  Its purpose is to enhance the critical thinking skills of students so they can deconstruct media messages and refrain from using alcohol and tobacco products.  Media Ready was reviewed by NREPP  and OJJDP Model Programs Guide and deemed a promising practice.

Reclaiming Futures has not been reviewed by an independent panel.

The NC PIC did not review Multisystemic Therapy (MST) since various registries have reviewed it and deemed it to be a model program (MST has its own service definition in North Carolina).

The following registries have reviewed it:

California Evidence-Based Center for Child Welfare has reviewed MST, MST for youth with problem sexual behaviors, and MST for child abuse and neglect;

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development;

National Registry for Evidence-based Practices and Programs – MST for Juvenile Offenders and MST for Youth With Problem Sexual Behaviors, and

OJJDP Model Programs Guide