National Evaluation: Substance Use Prevention Among High Risk Youth

In the mid-1990s EMT was awarded its first national cross-site evaluation through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to conduct a multi-year study of interventions targeting youth at high risk for substance abuse. The multi-level study involved 48 study sites and more than 10,000 participants who were followed over a five-year period. EMT's national cross-site evaluation work on the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) National Cross-Site Evaluation of High Risk Youth received the American Evaluation Association's Outstanding Study award in 2000, and was praised as a "significant advance over the fragmented work in the field" in the British journal Research to Practice (2005). An article in the February 2006 edition of Youth Today called EMT's ability to design multi-site studies that produce real world lessons "truly groundbreaking." The study produced five SAMHSA monographs and twelve refereed journal articles.

EMT was later awarded six separate multi-site evaluation studies from SAMHSA/CSAP in the late 1990's and early 2000s. All of these cross-site studies required the establishment of a separate Data Coordinating Center. These programs addressed various populations, interventions, and services that span the behavioral health spectrum. Sixty-two sites were involved in these studies and approximately 5,000 youth and or family members were served of three to five years of grants. All of our DCCS made extensive use of steering committees in the overall design and implementation of the study procedures. All DCCs resulted in the construction of data collection instruments in combination with standard measures, and analysis of outcomes that have ranged from a focus on individual cases studies to complex analyses of interagency service integration. All have involved the collection and analysis of information from various sources. EMT later went on to serve as a sub-contractor on two national data coordinating center contracts to support Federal-level data integration and data quality improvement across SAMHSA's three Centers.

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