NREPP – critical to our work

Since 1997, the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, (NREPP), has been the go to source for thousands of professionals and community groups across the country to find effective interventions for preventing and treating mental health and substance-use disorders.

In Ohio, we, as so many others, have relied on this database of hundreds of mental health and substance misuse programs. These programs have been assessed by an independent contractor and deemed scientifically sound. Once a program or therapeutic approach is included in this registry, it amounts to receiving federal recognition as an evidence-based practice.

NREPP’s contractor was terminated December 28, 2017 leaving about 90 programs languishing in the pipeline. The new assistant secretary for mental health and substance use, argues that NREPP needs to be improved so that it is more rigorous, calling the current registry “flawed.” She indicated in reviewing the list of programs, some seem entirely irrelevant.

It appears that a new entity will be taking over for the former contractor and a director has been named, but there are no other staff members in place. However, SAMHSA’s Assistant Secretary indicated that they will “institute an even more scientifically rigorous approach to better inform the identification and implementation of evidence-based programs and practices.”

Are you confused? Me too.The sudden ending of the current NREPP Program is unsettling, more unsettling is the fact it ended without having something ready to put in its place. NREPP is the lifeline for guiding all of us in effective work. Let’s keep congress aware of our concerns so it doesn’t disappear or ends up not being as robust as it needs to be.

Prevention Action Alliance
January 2018

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