Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Determining Fit

Best Fit Prevention Programs graphic

Strength of evidence is critical to selecting approaches that are likely to work. But not all evidence-based approaches or interventions are right for all communities. Best fit interventions are those approached or interventions that (1) most clearly impact the substance abuse or related behavioral health problem in your community; and (2) are most appropriate, given the community’s needs, resources, and readiness to act.

To select an evidence-based approach or intervention that is a good fit for your community:

  • Consider conceptual fit. Does the approach clearly address the problems and factors that contribute to substance use in your community?
  • Consider practical fit. Is the approach a good match for the community, given available resources, cultural context, and community readiness to take action? Will it garner the support of community leaders? Is it culturally appropriate for the target population?
  • Consider effectiveness. Do the selected approach SAMHSA’s criteria for what is evidence-based? How strong is the evidence?

If communities follow this process, using these criteria, they are likely to arrive at a combination of strategies and programs which best fit their community.

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