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Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood A Research-Based Guide (In Brief)

Research-Based Early Intervention Substance Abuse Prevention Programs

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NIDA-supported research over the past 3 decades has led to evidence-based early intervention and substance abuse prevention programs that span the prenatal period, infancy and toddlerhood (0 to 3 years), preschool (ages 3 to 6), and the transition to elementary school (ages 6 to 8). The programs listed in this section are arranged by developmental period. Within each age range, programs are presented according to level of prevention — universal, selective, and tiered.

More detailed information on each of these programs can be found in the original publication on the NIDA website at www.drugabuse.gov/earlychildhood.

  • Universal: for everyone in the population regardless of risk — for example, all children in a preschool or first- grade classroom or all children in a community. 
  • Selective: for groups of children who are at risk due to some factor they have in common — for example, children with behavior problems or those living in a high poverty or crime area or in foster care. 
  • Tiered: targets more than one level of risk — for example, a universal intervention that also screens for more severe problems and risks and provides additional services for those in need.

This page was last updated September 2016

Cite this article

NIDA. (2016, September 1). Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood A Research-Based Guide (In Brief). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/principles-substance-abuse-prevention-early-childhood-research-based-guide-in-brief

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