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The use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, especially among youth, exacts a high toll in local communities. Substance abuse prevention programs can improve the health of community members. Such programs are successful only if they are of high quality and are implemented carefully. In 2004, the RAND Corporation published Getting To Outcomes™ 2004: Promoting Accountability Through Methods and Tools for Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation, a manual designed to provide guidance to prevention practitioners in agencies, schools, and community coalitions as they plan, implement, and evaluate their own substance abuse prevention programs. Research has shown that the Getting To Outcomes (GTO) approach can lead to increased capacity in prevention programs and better performance. This summary of that manual provides step-by-step guidance to practitioners in need of a concise, overview-style approach to the GTO process. It briefly reviews the 10 steps described in the manual, from choosing a problem or problems to focus on to considering how to keep a successful program going. The steps are designed to empower practitioners as they plan effective programs, implement the programs, and evaluate the programs to continuously improve them and collect outcome data.

The trademarks “GTO” and “Getting to Outcomes” are owned by the University of South Carolina. These marks are used by RAND only with permission from the University of South Carolina.

The research in this report was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The research was conducted within RAND Health, a division of the RAND Corporation.

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