Disseminating evidence-based practices in substance abuse treatment: a review with suggestions

J Subst Abuse Treat. 2006 Jul;31(1):25-39. doi: 10.1016/j.jsat.2006.03.005.


Although substance abuse professionals are generally open to new and better therapeutic methods, most evidence-based treatments do not easily find their way into practice. Natural diffusion processes for innovations in substance abuse treatments are relatively informal and have yielded a widely acknowledged gap between science and community practice. This review focuses on methods for effectively disseminating new treatment methods into practice. Therapist manuals and one-time workshops are in themselves relatively ineffective in helping practitioners gain proficiency in new clinical approaches. Individual performance feedback and coaching improve the acquisition of clinical skills. Specific incentives for implementation may also be needed to encourage treatment providers, programs, and systems to adopt new approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Communication
  • Diffusion of Innovation
  • Evidence-Based Medicine*
  • Health Planning
  • Humans
  • Substance-Related Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • United States