Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

review and selection process

To facilitate the collection and review of the considerable number of existing alcohol education programs, programs were grouped according to the alcohol-related issue they were designed to address. To begin, the following three most salient issues were identified: underage drinking, drink-driving, and binge and other hazardous drinking patterns.

The collection and review process has been completed for the first issue, underage drinking, and the resulting set of programs is now available on the Programs List and Search page. As of October 1, 2014, the second issue, drink-driving, is in the program collection and review process, and all of the drink-driving programs reviewed and approved by the Advisory Group will be added to the Guide in early 2015. The final issue, binge and other hazardous drinking behavior, will follow shortly thereafter. The process for collecting and reviewing these programs is described in detail below.


Preventing Underage Drinking

Step 1: Collection of available programs

The search for alcohol education programs designed to prevent underage drinking began with SAMSHA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), using the advance search feature to select alcohol as the outcome measure and early childhood through young adults as the target age. 

Two research search engines, PubMed and the International Alcohol Information Database, were used to search for programs using the following parameters:

  • Publication range: 2000-2014
  • Publication types: peer-reviewed, English-language journals
  • Themes or Keywords: young people; underage drinking; alcohol education; alcohol prevention programs

In addition, all alcohol industry-funded programs for preventing underage drinking reported in the Initiatives Reporting: Industry Actions to Reduce Harmful Drinking database were included in the initial pool of underage drinking programs.

As a second sweep of the available research literature, we added search terms to find specific types of programs (i.e. life skills, social norms, community-based) or regions of the world that were underrepresented in the pool of programs collected during the primary search. Advisory Group members and other colleagues also submitted names of suggested programs. 

Step 2: First elimination

From the large number of existing programs collected in Step 1, we eliminated all programs that did not have an evaluation report available and a few programs that fell outside of the 2000-2014 time period criteria, as well as a few examples of evaluations of programs that had very small number of study participants.

Step 3: Selection process

A pool of proposed programs and their publicly available materials were compiled for each Advisory Group member for their reference over a two-day review session. During this session, members met to review the program information, evaluation report, and any published findings and additional materials to determine whether each program met the predetermined Inclusion Criteria. All programs reviewed and approved by the Advisory Group have been included on the Programs List and Search page.