Overview: Using This Tool

There are a number of ways prevention practitioners can use this tool. Practitioners can:

  • Browse the individual strategy records by domain of interest (i.e., policy, enforcement, communication, or multi-component) to see which have produced outcomes and target population groups that parallel prevention priorities in their states or communities. For example, which strategies are associated with changes in retailer behavior, current underage drinking, binge drinking among college students, or drinking and driving?
  • Check out the objectives (mechanisms of change) for different strategy records to see which strategies address prioritized risk (or protective) factors. For example, if a state is addressing underage drinking and has prioritized the risk factor “social availability”, which strategies focus on limiting social availability of alcohol to youth under age 21?
  • Review records to identify the critical elements required to understand a given environmental prevention strategy and its consequences. Click on the links provided in the guidelines for more detailed information.
  • Determine, when reviewing critical elements, whether their states or communities have the resources and abilities necessary for the selected strategy, based on their capacity assessment. Practitioners should also identify those areas where they need to build capacity or, if necessary, adapt selected strategies to better fit local circumstances.
  • Find those strategies or programs their states and communities are already using and identify the core elements they hope to track when conducting their process evaluation. This guide can also help practitioners design process evaluation tools.
  • Review references for strategies of interest to determine how others have conducted process and outcome evaluations of specific environmental prevention strategies.

Please note: This tool does not identify or categorize programs as effective or ineffective, nor does it rate strategies based on their strength of evidence. For this reason, we recommend that practitioners use this tool in conjunction with other documents, registries, systems, or research studies that provide information on the evidence of strategy effectiveness, such as those listed in the How Did We Get Here? section. These registries can help practitioners identify strategies that best address substance use prevention needs identified through careful epidemiological assessment.

For more information on preventing underage drinking, see the Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking.