An ounce of prevention, a pound of uncertainty: the by Jonathan Caulkins

By Jonathan Caulkins

Within the battle on medicines, teenagers are at the entrance traces. is simply asserting no safeguard adequate? The authors learn the result of well known tuition drug prevention courses to figure out how potent they're at lowering cocaine use and no matter if those courses are funds good spent, compared to drug-enforcement or drug-treatment courses.

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Additional info for An ounce of prevention, a pound of uncertainty: the cost-effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs

Example text

We discuss such questions in Chapter Five, along with the implications of our analysis for future drug epidemics and for the debate over drug legalization. An Issue Not Yet Examined There have been hundreds of evaluations of drug use prevention programs, but they do not answer the questions addressed here. Most have sought (often unsuccessfully) to demonstrate whether a specific program results in a statistically significant reduction in drug use or has some other desirable outcome. , by finding merit in using peers to help run the program (Tobler, 1986; Ellickson and Bell, 1990a).

Greater effects and cost-effectiveness might be possible in the early, explosive stages of epidemic growth when preventing one person from initiating could prevent a cascade of subsequent initiations. Unfortunately, there is a considerable delay between implementation of a prevention program and when it begins to affect initiation into and use of cocaine. But drug epidemics are difficult to predict and, indeed, are not even always recognized as problematic until af- Page xxxi ter the peak years of initiation have passed.

6 percent for drunkenness and heavy alcohol use. The less "deviant" the substance, the smaller the projected effect on use in percentage terms. However, cigarettes and heavy alcohol use are associated with such great problems that these reductions could generate considerable benefits. 80 in social cost associated with cigarettes and alcohol, respectively, although again there is a wide range of uncertainty surrounding those point estimates. There may be still other benefits of prevention. Strengthening the resistance skills and perceived self-efficacy of adolescents may dissuade them from associating with gangs, getting pregnant, dropping out of school, and other behaviors potentially injurious to their health or economic prospects.

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