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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.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Social Benefit and Cost Results

  • Chapter Three

    Lifetime Drug Consumption Without Prevention

  • Chapter Four

    School-Based Prevention's Effectiveness at the End of the Program

  • Chapter Five

    School-Based Prevention's Effectiveness at Reducing Lifetime Drug Use

  • Chapter Six

    Adjustments to Prevention's Effectiveness

  • Chapter Seven

    Social Costs of Drug Consumption

  • Appendix A

    Low, Medium, and High Estimates for the Ten Factors in the Prevention Model

  • Appendix B

    Recoding Consumption Values From the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse

  • Appendix C

    Program Descriptions

  • Appendix D

    Aggregating Program

  • Appendix E

    Program Effectivemess Decay

  • Appendix F

    Effects on Lifetime Consumption

The research described in this report was performed under the auspices of RAND Health and RAND Public Safety and Justice.

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