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Congress directed the military to establish pilot community outreach programs to reduce the demand for illegal drugs among youth. This report examined the potential suitability of the military for such roles, the pilot programs that were implemented, their effectiveness, how the programs affected the military, and some desirable attributes of military-run prevention programs for youth. The information for the study was gathered largely through site visits and telephone interviews with program administrators, staff, participating youth, parents, and community leaders. A literature review, background research, and supporting calculations supplemented these efforts. The study concluded that a useful generalization is that programs that give youth a chance to interact directly with military personnel tap military comparative advantage. Analysis of the pilot programs suggested that six program attributes should be considered in establishing or expanding such programs: rely on volunteers, keep individual programs to a modest size, design programs locally, provide central leadership, target programs for youth at high risk for drug abuse (but not the most troubled youth), and do not rule out short programs.

This report is part of the RAND monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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