State and Community Substance Abuse Prevention Planning and Evaluation

PIRE prevention research professionals… on the forefront for the past 40 years in collaborating with state agencies and community-based organizations to assess, plan, implement, and evaluate their efforts to prevent substance abuse and related behavioral health concerns.

PIRE is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to expanding and applying scientific knowledge for the enhancement of health, safety, and well-being of individuals and communities, both here in the U.S. and worldwide. Domestically, we have a broad portfolio and extensive experience working with states and communities in implementing and evaluating numerous federally-funded prevention programs, particularly in the areas of substance abuse and mental health. We have current or recently completed state, community, and tribal entity prevention projects in 16 states across the country along with other projects that are national or regional in scope.

The federal sponsor for the majority of these projects is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), although numerous other federal agencies are also represented in our project portfolio.  Most of our projects are administered through contracts with state agencies such as state health departments, but we also collaborate directly with federal agencies, tribal governments, schools, and other community-based organizations.

Our primary role in many of these projects is to serve as the evaluator.  For other projects we may conduct needs assessments, assist with capacity building and planning, or focus primarily on provision of training and technical assistance related to program implementation.  These services may be provided separately or bundled into a comprehensive package of linked services and products.  In either case, and as aligned with SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF), our projects recognize the essential, interconnected roles of assessment, capacity building, data-driven planning, quality of intervention implementation, monitoring, and evaluation for achieving demonstrable outcomes.

Our evaluations collect and analyze data from multiple sources in ways that document both the implementation and the impacts of project efforts, while also ensuring that all federally-mandated reporting requirements are met.  To address this challenge, we have developed innovative but sound data collection approaches involving both quantitative and qualitative methods.  We also recognize that every client has different needs, expectations, resources, and preferences for how evaluations are conducted, how evaluation findings are packaged and disseminated, and our level of involvement in other steps of the SPF.  We therefore never seek to impose a standard one-size-fits-all approach on our projects even when funding is from the same federal source.  We work regularly, and intensely at times, with our clients to ensure a constant two-way flow of communication, as we have found this is essential for truly understanding the projects we evaluate and to provide timely and informative feedback to project directors and their staff.  For a number of our larger projects, we have on-site evaluators who are located either in or near the offices of our state agency partners.

PIRE also has expertise and capacity to provide training and technical assistance on prevention-focused interventions.  For many years PIRE operated the Underage Drinking Enforcement Training Center (UDETC) in support of OJJDP’s Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program, and also ran the SAMHSA-funded Southeast Region Center for Advancement of Prevention Technology (CAPT).    More recently we have developed expertise and become engaged in guiding and evaluating opioid misuse prevention and harm reduction projects.  To that end we have developed an opioid misuse and harm reduction framework designed to help communities and other organizations understand the various forces driving this public health crisis epidemic and identify appropriate prevention and intervention strategies [ see www.pire.org/opioidframework ].  In all our TTA efforts, PIRE’s goal is to identify, promote, and enhance the implementation of evidence-based practices while also ensuring cultural relevance and sensitivity to local needs and perspectives.

Services and products we provide:

  • Evaluation planning
  • Evaluation and data collection technical assistance
  • Needs assessment
  • Logic models
  • Planning guides
  • Intervention workplans
  • Fidelity monitoring tools
  • Intervention implementation guides and training
  • Data collection through multiple means, including:
    • student surveys
    • online surveys
    • pre/post surveys of program participants
    • focus groups
    • in-depth interviews
    • management information systems
    • abstraction of archival data
  • Obtaining IRB approval
  • Behavioral health disparities assessment
  • Data management, analysis, and reporting
  • Data visualization
  • Presentations
  • Epidemiological data profiles and reports
  • Brief evaluation reports and press releases
  • Detailed evaluation reports


Projects by Location:

Highlight locations that include the selected Federal Program:


New Project AWARE grants addresses mental health needs of students

Project AWARE is a grant program sponsored by SAMHSA whose goals include increasing awareness among students and adults about social emotional and mental health issues facing students; developing mechanisms for the early identification of social emotional and mental health issues; and coordinating or delivering mental health services in schools and the community for students. PIRE is pleased to have been recently selected as the evaluator for three Project AWARE grants: Indiana, South Dakota, and South Carolina.

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For more information about PIRE’s State and Community Prevention Planning and Evaluation activities and services, click here: Contact Us

Or for information about specific projects, you may email the contact person identified for each project.