NIH: Office of Disease Prevention



Healthy People 2020
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP)

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. For three decades, Healthy People has established benchmarks and monitored progress over time to encourage collaborations across communities and sectors; empower individuals toward making informed health decisions; and measure the impact of prevention activities. Healthy People 2020 continues in this tradition with an ambitious, yet achievable, 10-year agenda that includes reducing alcohol consumption and drug use; increasing the proportion of adolescents who disapprove of substance abuse; and increasing screening and treatment for individuals who need alcohol and/or illicit drug treatment.

This section provides a selection of resources from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and is not intended to be a comprehensive list. For NIH resources on tobacco use, please see the Additional NIH Resources page of the Tobacco Use Research Highlights.

National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a web-based resource that provides patients, their family members, healthcare professionals, researchers, and the public with easy access to information on publicly and privately supported clinical studies. The website is maintained by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the NIH. Information on is provided and updated by the sponsors or principal investigators of clinical studies. maintains information on a variety of studies related to substance abuse.

NIH Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) System

At the request of Congress, the NIH embarked on a process to provide better consistency and transparency in the reporting of its funded research. This process, implemented in 2008 through the Research, Condition, and Disease Categorization (RCDC) system, uses sophisticated text data mining (categorizing and clustering using words and multiword phrases) in conjunction with NIH-wide definitions used to match projects to categories. The RCDC website provides historical and estimated funding data for a variety of research topics, including substance abuse. To search for funded projects, visit the NIH RePORTER website.

Rethinking Drinking: Alcohol and Your Health

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Drinking can be beneficial or harmful, depending on your age and health status, and, of course, how much you drink. For anyone who drinks, this site offers valuable, research-based information. What do you think about taking a look at your drinking habits and how they may affect your health? Rethinking Drinking can help you get started.

College Drinking Prevention Website

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

This website is a one-stop resource for comprehensive research-based information on issues related to alcohol abuse and binge drinking among college students.

The Cool Spot

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

The Cool Spot is an interactive website designed for middle school (11 to 13-year-old) children to help them identify and resist peer pressure to drink.

Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner's Guide

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

"Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner's Guide" is designed to help health care professionals quickly identify youth at risk for alcohol-related problems. NIAAA developed the Guide and Pocket Guide in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, a team of underage drinking researchers and clinical specialists, and practicing health care professionals. See also the NIAAA press release on the study that supports the use of the guide.

Screening and Brief Intervention for Alcohol Use and Alcohol Use Disorders

National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)

Screening and brief intervention is a high priority for the NIAAA, and the Institute has invested significantly both in the development of screening materials and the funding of research in this area. For adults, the NIAAA developed Helping Patients Who Drink Too Much: A Clinician’s Guide, for which continuing medical education credit is available for physicians and nurses through Medscape. For youth, the NIAAA produced Alcohol Screening and Brief Intervention for Youth: A Practitioner’s Guide.

Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

NIDA has launched an online guide to interventions in early childhood that can help prevent drug use and other unhealthy behaviors. The guide offers research-based principles that affect a child's self-control and overall mental health, starting during pregnancy through the eighth year of life. It recognizes that while substance use generally begins during the teen years, it has known biological, psychological, social, and environmental roots that begin even before birth. See the NIDA press release for more information.

Substance Use in Women

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Women and men may face unique issues when it comes to substance use, as a result of both sex and gender. The NIDA report on substance use in women discusses sex differences in substance use, substance use while pregnant and breastfeeding, sex and gender differences in substance use disorder treatment, other sex and gender issues related to substance use, and the importance of including women in research. NIDA reports simplify the science of research findings for the educated lay public, legislators, educational groups, and practitioners. The series reports on research findings of national interest.

NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The more you know about drugs of abuse (and the science behind drug abuse), the more you will want to help your friends (if you are a teenager) or students (if you are an educator) learn the facts and make smart decisions. NIDA developed the tools on this website to help teens, and those who influence them, learn about drug abuse and addiction and get the word out to make a positive difference in teens’ lives.

Family Check-Up Web Tool: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

This tool is based on NIDA-funded prevention research at the Child and Family Center, University of Oregon and aims to help families as they struggle to find the best ways to raise their children to live happy, healthy, and productive lives. The tool is a simple, five-item questionnaire that parents can take online. The questions cover different areas of parenting that are important in preventing the initiation and progression of drug use among youth. Each question is linked to a video clip showing examples of both positive and negative ways that parents can respond; these vignettes can be used by parents as models for their own behavior. The site contains additional downloadable information for parents to use as an aid for practicing positive parenting skills.

Preventing Drug Abuse Among Children and Adolescents (In Brief)

National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The NIDA booklet, Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders, Second Edition (PDF - 707 KB), synthesizes the findings of 20 years of prevention science and identifies a set of principles that are characteristic of efficacious and effective science-based prevention programs. This In Brief web edition provides highlights from the full report and presents these key principles, an overview of program planning, and important first steps for those learning about prevention. This web-based edition serves as an introduction to research-based prevention for those new to the field of drug abuse prevention and provides key information for those planning prevention services in their own communities. Selected resources and references also are provided.