Substance Abuse Referrals:  Evidence-Based Report and
Resource Guide Lead to Better Outreach by WIC Staff


The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is required to provide alcohol and drug abuse counseling services, as well as referrals, when appropriate. A report detailing the appropriate methods of drug abuse education in the WIC program existed, but it was over 20 years old. Additionally, a resource manual existed, but it was outdated and underutilized by WIC staff.

JumpStart in Action

JumpStart conducted qualitative research including multiple rounds of on-line focus groups, clinical observations and semi-structured expert interviews with leaders in the areas of alcohol and drug abuse, minority health, women’s health, WIC operations, and brief motivational interviewing to gain deep, real world insights, perspectives, and experiences regarding management of substance abuse. JumpStart identified, recruited and maintained a Technical Expert Panel (TEP) to provide expertise, input and guidance on content development. JumpStart also conducted a thorough literature review, of medical literature, on-line resources and available counseling and patient resources.

Making a Difference

The updated 2012 report entitled, “Evidence-based Approaches to Substance Use Prevention, Screening and Referral for Implementation in the WIC Program,” serves as a comprehensive guide for the development of WIC substance abuse education and a reference for federal, state, and local WIC staff and participants. In collaboration with CarrotNewYork, JumpStart is developing an electronic resource manual for the WIC staff.

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