TASK 2: Select Evidence-Based Interventions

When developing a plan to address substance misuse and abuse in your community, it is important to identify and select strategies that have been shown through research to be effective, are a good fit for your community, and are likely to promote sustained change.

Evidence of Effectiveness

There is a great body of research demonstrating the effectiveness of various strategies to reduce underage alcohol consumption and its consequences. Literature reviews, published studies, unpublished evaluation findings, and other resources may help you identify the strategies with the greatest potential to affect the intervening variables you identified as a priority.

A catalog of evidence-based strategies related to underage alcohol consumption, which includes assessments of the strength and effectiveness of the evidence, is available here.

For each strategy you consider:

  • Review the research evidence that describes how the strategy is related to your selected intervening variable(s)
  •  Based on this evidence, present a rationale describing how the strategy addresses the intervening variable(s)

Note: Be sure to discuss potential strategies with your TA provider.

This process will help you develop a logic model that shows how your selected strategies will lead to improvements in outcomes related to substance misuse and abuse.

Conceptual Fit

Think about how relevant the strategy is to your community and how it is logically connected to your intervening variable(s) and desired outcomes. To determine conceptual fit, consider the following questions:

  • Has the strategy been tested with the identified target population? If so, how? If not, how can it be applied to the target population?
  • How will implementing this strategy in your local community help you achieve your anticipated outcomes?

Practical Fit

Given your community’s readiness, population, and general local circumstances, how effectively could you implement this strategy? Consider the following:

  • Resources (e.g., cost, staffing, access to target population)
  • Organizational or coalition climate (e.g., how the strategy fits with existing prevention or reduction efforts, the organization’s willingness to accept new programs, buy-in of key leaders)
  • Community climate (e.g., the community’s attitude toward the strategy, buy-in of key leaders)
  • Sustainability (e.g., community ownership of the strategy, renewable financial support, community champions)

Potential Impact

When selecting strategies, it is important to consider their comprehensiveness and potential for long-term impact. While strategies that are more narrow in focus (e.g., educating parents or teachers) may be simpler to implement, approaches aimed at changing policies, systems, and environments (e.g., development and implementation of social host liability laws) may be more likely to promote sustained improvement in outcomes.


SAPC Planning Tool