Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Defining Evidence-Based

Man holding child in his arms

Evidence-based prevention refers to a set of prevention activities that evaluation research has shown to be effective. Some of these prevention activities help individuals develop the intentions and skills to act in a healthy manner. Others focus on creating an environment that supports healthy behavior. This section introduces SAMHSA's criteria for defining "evidence-based" (for SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework State/Tribal Incentive Grantees) and encourages practitioners to consider "fit" when choosing an intervention.

In addition, from 2005 to 2014 the CAPT implemented SAMHSA's Service to Science Initiative, dedicated to enhancing the evaluation capacity of innovative programs and practices that addressed critical substance abuse prevention and related behavioral health needs. Through this initiative, the CAPT assisted local program developers, implementers, and evaluators in applying more rigorous evaluation methodologies to their work.

SAMHSA's Tribal Training and Technical Assistance Center continues to implement the Native American Service to Science Initiative. This initiative strives to build the evaluation capacity of innovative programs developed by and for American Indian and Alaska Native populations by providing tribal program developers, implementers, and evaluators with knowledge, tools, and skills needed to evaluate their prevention efforts.

Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract (Reference #HHSS277200800004C).