Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Service to Science Initiative

Native American boy in traditional clothes with hands on his head

Prevention practitioners are encouraged to implement evidence-based interventions (EBIs) to address their substance abuse needs. Yet the diversity of these programs is limited. It is not always possible to identify an EBI that fits local needs and conditions. There are very few programs, for example, that are designed for African Americans, American Indians, or Alaska Natives, or that address issues such as abuse of prescription drugs.

SAMHSA's Service to Science (STS) Initiative is a national initiative designed to enhance the evaluation capacity of innovative programs and practices that address critical substance abuse prevention and related behavioral health needs. STS provides customized technical assistance that equips participants with the knowledge, tools, and skills needed to evaluate their efforts with increasing levels of methodological rigor. Ultimately, the initiative supports State prevention efforts by increasing the number of local programs that meet evidence-based standards. Click here for a list of Cohort 2014’s Service to Science participants.

Pending the availability of funds, SAMHSA offers approximately 25 subcontract award each year through the CAPT to innovative, locally-developed programs that have participated in STS. Recipients use the subcontract funds of up to $30,000 to make specific enhancements to their evaluation efforts, such as conducting a process evaluation, developing and piloting outcome assessment instruments, implementing a quasi-experimental outcome evaluation design, running more complex data analyses, or preparing an article for publication. Over the past seven years, nearly 200 programs across the United States, including the Pacific Jurisdictions, have been funded through this process. Read more about these subcontract recipients.