School-Based Drug Prevention

School-Based Drug Prevention: What Kind of Drug Use Does It Prevent?

Jonathan P. Caulkins
Rosalie Liccardo Pacula
Susan Paddock
James Chiesa
Copyright Date: 2002
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 198
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mr1459rwj
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  • Book Info
    School-Based Drug Prevention
    Book Description:

    School-based drug prevention, popular with the public and politicians alike, is now a nearly universal experience for American youth. Analysis has shown that the best programs can reduce use of a wide range of substances. But questions remain regarding how to think about and, hence, fund, these programs. Should they be viewed principally as weapons in the war against illicit drugs, or, at the other extreme, do prevention programs benefit students and society most by reducing use of alcohol and tobacco? The authors address these questions by comparing for the first time the social benefits of school-based prevention programs' long-run impacts on a diverse set of different substances.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-3385-7
    Subjects: Sociology, Political Science, Health Sciences

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. PREFACE
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. FIGURES
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. TABLES
    (pp. xi-xiv)
  6. SUMMARY
    (pp. xv-xxii)
  7. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. Chapter One INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-10)

    Drug prevention, like motherhood and apple pie, has few opponents. Most people are instinctively supportive of using education programs to “save our kids” from addiction. Nevertheless, it is appropriate and sensible to ask whether these programs actually work. For many years, there was little solid evidence on the affirmative side. Over the past 15 years, however, compelling evidence from rigorously conducted evaluations has repeatedly shown that the better school-based programs—although by no means all programs—yield tangible effects, often across a variety of substances.

    In scientific parlance, “statistically significant” differences have been found between “treatment” groups that receive prevention...

  9. Chapter Two SOCIAL BENEFIT AND COST RESULTS
    (pp. 11-36)

    In this chapter, we present our principal findings and conclusions, which we expand upon in the chapters that follow. We begin by laying out a ten-factor model by which we calculate the social benefits of school-based drug prevention. We then give our best-guess estimates of the social benefits and costs, allocated by type of drug, and supplement those best-guess estimates with a very conservative estimate. We then give an analysis of the sensitivity of our best-guess estimates to variation in our assumed factor values. Finally, we draw policy-related conclusions and offer a general discussion of our findings.

    Drug use generates...

  10. Chapter Three LIFETIME DRUG CONSUMPTION WITHOUT PREVENTION
    (pp. 37-54)

    In this chapter and the following chapters, we expand upon our discussion in Chapter Two of our ten-factor model for estimating the benefits of school-based drug prevention. In this chapter, we discuss how we estimated the first three factors, which, when multiplied together, give the present value of average lifetime drug consumption per person in the absence of prevention. We begin with Factor 1—how much the average user consumes in his or her lifetime in the absence of prevention.

    For cocaine, we adopt Caulkins et al.’s (1999) estimate that the average lifetime consumption for someone who initiates use is...

  11. Chapter Four SCHOOL-BASED DRUG PREVENTION’S EFFECTIVENESS AT THE END OF THE PROGRAM
    (pp. 55-66)

    In this chapter, we review and summarize evidence from the literature concerning how much a composite best-practice school-based drug prevention program can be expected to affect early indicators of eventual lifetime use of cocaine, marijuana, tobacco, and alcohol. In particular, we ask how large the prevention effects on each predictor may be at the first follow-up after completion of the program. In Chapter Five, we consider evidence pertaining to the permanence or decay of those effects and relate reduction in the prediction measure to the ultimate reduction in lifetime consumption.

    Our goal is not to evaluate a specific prevention program...

  12. Chapter Five SCHOOL-BASED PREVENTION’S EFFECTIVENESS AT REDUCING LIFETIME DRUG USE
    (pp. 67-86)

    In Chapter Four, we estimated the effects of school-based prevention on adolescent use of marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco as of the end of the first evaluation follow-up, which we envision as happening in eighth grade in our hypothetical model program. Unfortunately, with only one possible exception among the programs we studied (the Lifeskills program), observed differences between treatment and control groups had disappeared by the end of high school.

    At some point, the delay in drug use caused by prevention comes to an end. However, this does not render moot the question of effect on lifetime consumption. Not only is...

  13. Chapter Six ADJUSTMENTS TO PREVENTION’S EFFECTIVENESS
    (pp. 87-94)

    The result of the calculations described in the three preceding chapters is a set of estimates of average lifetime reduction in drug consumption, one for each substance and for each of three initiation scenarios. The calculation of benefits is completed when such average lifetime use reduction values are multiplied by social cost per unit of substance use. First, though, the use reduction numbers must be adjusted because we have not yet accounted for the following four possibilities:

    That prevention’s impact on lifetime use might be less than what is suggested by combining impacts on predictor variables and historical correlations between...

  14. Chapter Seven SOCIAL COSTS OF DRUG CONSUMPTION
    (pp. 95-112)

    In this chapter, we demonstrate how we estimate the final factor, Factor 10, used in calculating the social benefit from reduction in drug use. Multiplying Factor 4 (see Chapter Four) by Factor 5 (see Chapter Five) yields the percentage reduction in lifetime consumption expected from an average person’s participation in prevention. Multiplying that product by Factors 1, 2, and 3 (see Chapter Three) yields the unadjusted present value (e.g., grams) of lifetime consumption by the average program participant that is reduced by prevention. This amount is then adjusted by the application of qualifiers and multipliers (see Chapter Six). The final...

  15. Appendix A LOW, MEDIUM, AND HIGH ESTIMATES FOR THE TEN FACTORS IN THE PREVENTION MODEL
    (pp. 113-116)
  16. Appendix B RECODING CONSUMPTION VALUES FROM THE NATIONAL HOUSEHOLD SURVEY ON DRUG ABUSE
    (pp. 117-120)
  17. Appendix C PROGRAM DESCRIPTIONS
    (pp. 121-126)
  18. Appendix D AGGREGATING PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS DATA
    (pp. 127-138)
  19. Appendix E PROGRAM EFFECTIVENESS DECAY
    (pp. 139-154)
  20. Appendix F EFFECTS ON LIFETIME CONSUMPTION
    (pp. 155-164)
  21. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 165-174)