; and Stewart, K.
Report Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (1996)Prevention specialists have long maintained that during the middle through high school years, youth who participate in alternative activities are less inclined to engage in substance abuse. As a result, "alternatives" have become a standard component of many prevention programs. But what exactly are alternatives? And what evidence exists to support the continued promotion of alternatives as an effective alcohol and drug prevention strategy? Questions about content and efficacy of various prevention approaches are critical for prevention planners. In administering the funds set aside for prevention in the State Block Grant Program, State agency administrators are asked to consider "alternatives" strategies as a part of comprehensive programming. This document is designed to help policy-makers and service providers enhance prevention efforts. It begins with a definition of the term "alternatives" and a summary of its theoretical underpinnings. It then reviews research literature documenting the efficacy of specific alternatives approaches. It concludes with recommendations for future programmatic directions. The appendices provide descriptions and contact information for a range of existing alternative programs.