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Prevention Best Practices, Promising Practices, and
Guiding Principles

Following definitions taken from the Western Center for the Application of Prevention Technology Best and Promising Practices Manual.

  • Guiding principles
    Guiding principles are recommendations on how to create effective prevention programs. When a community already has a prevention program or strategy in place, the guiding principles can be used to gauge the program's potential effectiveness. They can also be used to design an innovative program/strategy when none of the best practices are appropriate to the community's needs.
    Before you select a best practice or apply the guiding principles, your community must conduct an assessment (risk assessment) to identify the risk and protective factors that need to be addressed in your community. Once you have identified which risk and protective factor(s) to address through your assessment, you can use the information in this document to select best practice(s) and/ or guiding principles to address your community's needs.

  • Best Practices
    For the purposes of this document, "Best Practices" are those strategies and programs which are deemed research-based by scientists and researchers at the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), the National Center for the Advancement of Prevention (NCAP), the National Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) and/ or the National Department of Education , (DOE). These are strategies and programs which have been shown through substantial research and evaluation to be effective at preventing and/ or delaying substance abuse.

  • Promising Practices
    We have also included a category called "Promising Practices" in areas where there are few programs that have enough outcome data (or that have been sufficiently evaluated) to be deemed best practices. "Promising practices" are programs and strategies that have some quantitative data showing positive outcomes in delaying substance abuse over a period of time, but do not have enough research or replication to support generalizable outcomes.




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