14 Pages

Evolution of a Substance Abuse Prevention Program with Inner City African-American Families

Oetting and Beauvais (1991) note that implementation, effectiveness and sustantation are three processes relevant to the success of substance abuse prevention programs. While successful implementation is a necessary but not sufficient condition for effectiveness and sustantation, successful implementation and demonstrated effectiveness are necessary but not sufficient conditions for program sustantation. Participant needs and changing environments can challenge a program's long term viability. Substance abuse prevention programs must be able to respond to these challenges in order to sustain themselves. The Safe Haven Program for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, a family skills training program for African-American families in Detroit, Michigan, is an example of a program which changed over a five year period in response to various environmental impacts while the goals of the program remained unchanged. The purpose of this paper is to describe the progression of the Safe Haven Program over time and the responses to various environmental impacts which enhanced sustainability. The progression is presented as a series of evolutionary stages from implementation to dissemination.