The Programs We’ve Identified Are Linked Below

Programs identified as having the most credible evidence of effectiveness, based on careful review in consultation with outside experts, are categorized as “Top Tier” or “Near Top Tier” (see sidebar for definitions). The other listed programs have been found promising but not yet Top Tier or Near Top Tier due to study limitations (such as only short-term follow-up) that underscore the need for additional testing prior to larger-scale implementation. As a nonprofit philanthropic foundation, we receive no financial benefit from any program, enabling us to serve as an impartial reviewer of the evidence.

Top Tier LifeSkills Training (Middle school substance abuse prevention curriculum): Randomized controlled trials show sizable decrease in students’ substance abuse over five to six years.

Top Tier Staying Free (A low-cost smoking cessation program for hospitalized smokers who are willing to make a quit attempt) Randomized controlled trials show sizable increase in confirmed abstinence from smoking one year after patient discharge from the hospital.

Near Top Tier First Grade Classroom Prevention Program (Program that combines a classroom management strategy – the Good Behavior Game – with an enhanced academic curriculum): Randomized controlled trial shows a sizable reduction in substance use, and sizable increases in high school graduation and college enrollment rates.

Near Top Tier PROSPER (Partnership between universities and community teams to implement evidence-based programs for youth substance abuse prevention): Randomized controlled trial shows community-wide reductions in substance use over 6.5 years.

Big Brothers Big Sisters (Volunteer mentoring program for disadvantaged youth, ages 6-18): Randomized controlled trial shows sizable decrease in youths’ drug and alcohol use and violent behavior.

Pregnant Woman’s Self-Help Guide to Quit Smoking (A low-cost smoking cessation program for pregnant smokers): Randomized controlled trials show a sizable increase in the quit rate during the last four to five months of pregnancy.

Recovery Coaches (Program for substance-abusing parents who have temporarily lost custody of their children): Randomized controlled trial shows an increase in family reunifications, reduction in active foster care cases, and net savings to the state.