Preventing Drug Use

Published in: Targeting Investments in Children: Fighting Poverty When Resources are Limited, Chapter 7 /edited by Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman (Chicago : University of Chicago Press, Oct. 2010), p. 181-220

Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2009

by Beau Kilmer, Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

This chapter reviews the literatures on the effectiveness of substance use prevention and the effect of substance use on education, employment, and earnings. While there is a fair amount of evidence suggesting that prevention programs for adolescents have short-term effects on consumption, there is very little evidence suggesting these effects remain through high school. Overall, the findings remain fairly mixed in terms of the effects of sub stance use on schooling as well as on earnings and labor force participation. The authors strongly support additional research on the long-term effects of pre­vention programs and a more serious look at the direct effect of participation in these prevention programs on economic variables, such as educational attainment and early job entry.

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