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Substance Abuse Prevention Models and Trainings

The following models, trainings, best and/or promising practices are examples of options that potential SASP grant applicants may consider when completing a grant application for the 2021 funding cycle. Please note that the following models and trainings are examples only. Potential applicants are not required to utilize only these options and may decide to use another model, training, best or promising practice that fits their Tribal community needs.

NOTE: IHS does not endorse any one model or training listed here, nor is this an endorsement by IHS. The models and trainings listed here are for informational purposes only for the SASP grant application process.

Model/Training: Wellbriety Movement

Organization: White Bison, Inc.


White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the American Indian/Alaska Native communities nationwide. Wellbriety teaches that we must find sobriety from addictions to alcohol and other drugs and recover from the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol on individuals, families, and whole communities. The "Well" part of Wellbriety is the inspiration to go on beyond sobriety and recovery, committing to a life of wellness and healing every day. The following are provided within the Wellbriety Movement:

  • The Medicine Wheel and 12 Steps for Men and Women
  • Mending Broken Hearts
  • Warrior Down/Recovery Coach
  • The Red Road to Wellbriety

Population: AI/AN men and women, youth (ages 13-21).

For more information, visit the White Bison website. Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving 

Model/Training: Fatherhood is Sacred, Motherhood is Sacred

Organization: Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA)


NAFFA provides programs to strengthen families through responsible fatherhood and motherhood. The programs are one of a kind, creating a real passion in parents to take a leadership role in keeping families together and growing healthy children. The following curricula are available:

  • Fatherhood is Sacred, Motherhood is Sacred
  • Linking Generations By Strengthening Relationships
  • Addressing Family Violence and Abuse

Population: AI/AN men and women (parents)

Visit the NAFFA website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.

Model/Training: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


CBT is a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness. Numerous research studies suggest that CBT leads to significant improvement in functioning and quality of life. In many studies, CBT has been demonstrated to be as effective as, or more effective than, other forms of psychological therapy or psychiatric medications.

Population: All

Model/Training: Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)


DBT is an evidence-based psychotherapy that began with efforts to treat borderline personality disorder. There is evidence that DBT can be useful in treating mood disorders, suicidal ideation, and for change in behavioral patterns such as self-harm and substance abuse. This approach uses a behavioral, problem-solving focus blended with acceptance-based strategies that emphasizes dialectical processes ("dialectical" refers to issues involved in treating people with multiple disorders and to the type of thought processes and behavioral styles used in treatment). Foci include balancing behavioral change, problem-solving, emotional regulation with validation, mindfulness, and acceptance.

Population: All

Model/Training: Matrix Model for Teens and Young Adults


Provides a proven, evidence-based, flexible intensive outpatient program for alcohol and drug treatment that works for people between the ages of 13-25. It uses cognitive-behavioral therapy and motivational interviewing to teach patients to analyze events and change thoughts, behaviors, and lifestyle related to alcohol and other drug use.

Population: Youth ages 13-25

Model/Training: Curriculum in a Box: Gateway Drugs and Beyond

Organization: Human Relations Media


This substance abuse curriculum combines 11 live-action videos, 3 PowerPoint presentations and a wealth of student worksheets in a convenient, teacher-friendly kit. The materials provide students with the latest information about gateway drugs like alcohol, cigarettes and spit tobacco, as well as explain the dangers of illicit drugs like marijuana, Ecstasy and other club drugs, methamphetamine, cocaine, heroin, inhalants and more. This versatile curriculum also explores the hazards of abusing medicines commonly found in our homes—such as over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs and even performance-enhancing supplements. Includes a prize-winning selection of videos as well as an exceptional array of print material geared to students with various learning styles.

Population: Youth ages 13-25

Visit the Human Relations Media website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.

Model/Training: Moral Reconation Therapy (MRT)


MRT is a systematic treatment strategy that seeks to decrease recidivism among juvenile and adult criminal offenders by increasing moral reasoning. Its cognitive-behavioral approach combines elements from a variety of psychological traditions to progressively address ego, social, moral, and positive growth.

Population: Youth and Adults involved in criminal justice system

Visit the Moral Reconation Therapy website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.

Model/Training: Harm Reduction


Harm reduction and substance abuse is a practical, empathic, and respectful way to manage drug and alcohol use. The advantage of harm reduction and substance abuse is that it respects and empowers the individual in a therapeutic relationship. The individual and therapist work together in an open, communicative relationship to discuss how to reduce negative effects of substance abuse, without necessarily having to abstain from using entirely, but does not eliminate abstinence as an effective option should the individual and therapist decide it is the best choice. In harm reduction and drug abuse, treatment centers understand that in not everyone is ready to get completely abstinent at the same time, and in these cases reducing the risks of substance abuse may be more helpful than no treatment at all.

Population: All

Model/Training: Medication-Assisted Treatment

Organization: SAMHSA, others


Medication assisted treatment (MAT) is the use of pharmacological medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a "whole patient" approach to the treatment of substance use disorders. Research indicates that a combination of medication and behavioral therapies can successfully treat substance use disorders, and for some people struggling with addiction, MAT can help sustain recovery.

Population: All

Visit the SAMHSA's Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.

Model/Training: Motivational Interviewing (MI)


"MI is a collaborative, goal-oriented style of communication with particular attention to the language of change. It is designed to strengthen personal motivation for and commitment to a specific goal by eliciting and exploring the person’s own reasons for change within an atmosphere of acceptance and compassion." (Miller and Rollnick, 2013). Key qualities include:

  • MI is a guiding style of communication that sits between following (good listening) and directing (giving information and advice).
  • MI is designed to empower people to change by drawing out their own meaning, importance and capacity for change.
  • MI is based on a respectful and curious way of being with people that facilitates the natural process of change and honors client autonomy.

Population: All

Visit the Motivational Interviewing website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.

Model/Training: Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

Organization: SAMHSA

Description/Purpose: Developed by SAMHSA, SBIRT is an approach to the delivery of early intervention and treatment with individuals with substance use disorders and those at risk of developing these disorders. This approach includes:
  • Screening quickly assesses the severity of substance use and identifies the appropriate level of treatment.
  • Brief intervention focuses on increasing insight and awareness regarding substance use and motivation toward behavioral change.
  • Referral to treatment provides those identified as needing more extensive treatment with access to specialty care.

Population: All

Visit the SAMHSA's Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) website Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  for more information.