What are evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programs?

Prevention programs that reduce risky behaviors in children are considered evidence-based if they are delivered over time, use clearly defined curriculum, are implemented with fidelity, and evaluated regarding how well they work. They are often delivered in the school classroom setting but can be delivered in other appropriate group settings in the community.

Go to samhsa.gov or episcenter.org to see comprehensive lists of these programs.

How do mentoring programs help?

Mentoring programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters or Goodwill’s Good Guides can offer children and teens a stable, one-to-one relationship with an adult. Homes where substance misuse is occurring can be unpredictable and chaotic. A mentoring relationship can offer guidance, a listening ear, respite, and show options to mentees they otherwise might not know.

How do groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-Anon help?

Alcoholics Anonymous is an international fellowship of men and women who have/had a drinking problem. It is nonprofessional, self-supporting, multiracial, apolitical, and available almost everywhere. It is a support group that utilizes a 12-Step Program to help people change their destructive behaviors.

Al-Anon is for individuals who have been impacted by a friend or family member who is addicted. In Al-Anon and Alateen members share their own experience, strength, and hope with each other. Through this sharing members learn coping skills and ways to move toward healthy lives.

What are other support groups that can help?

Many areas have support groups that are specific to opiate addiction. Addiction is often referred to as a family disease, as one family member’s addiction will affect the entire family. When family members attend support groups, it inevitably affects the family as a whole. It can be highly beneficial for the family and it also increases the chances that their loved one will seek help and maintain long-term recovery. Local SCA’s should be able to provide information on these groups.

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