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NIDA

Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents (In Brief)

What are the cost-benefits of community prevention programs?

Research has shown that preventing drug abuse and other problem behaviors can produce benefits for communities that outweigh the monetary costs. The cost-effectiveness and benefit-cost of two long-term effective interventions,26 the Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10–14 (SFP 10–14), and Guiding Good Choices (GGC), produced net benefits in preventing adult cases of alcohol abuse. For every dollar spent, a $10 benefit was measured as a result of the SFP 10–14 program, and a $6 benefit was the result of the GGC program. In addition, an analysis of the Skills, Opportunity, And Recognition (SOAR) program had a benefit-to-cost ratio of $4.25 for every dollar spent.1, 13 An earlier study found that for every dollar spent on drug abuse prevention, communities could save from $4 to $5 in costs for drug abuse treatment and counseling.23

Community Action Box

Parents can work with others in the community to use the prevention principles in selecting drug abuse programs.

Educators can incorporate research-based content and delivery into their regular classroom curricula.

Community leaders can work with evaluation experts to evaluate program progress and develop improvements in outcomes.

This page was last updated October 2003