Prevention Program Definitions from the Center for
Substance Abuse Prevention of the Substance Abuse and
Mental Health Services Administration
Programs which have been reviewed by experts in the field according to predetermined standards of empirical research. Science-based programs are theory-based, have sound research methodology, and can prove that effects are clearly linked to the program itself and not to extraneous events. Results from science-based programs may be positive, neutral, or negative.
Programs which are science-based, but produce consistently positive patterns of results. Only programs positively affecting the majority of intended recipients or targets are considered effective.
Effective programs whose developers have agreed to participate in CSAP's dissemination efforts and to provide training and technical assistance to practitioners who wish to adopt their programs. Ensuring that programs are carefully implemented maximizes the probability for repeated effectiveness.