Each of the five science-based topics presented at the plenary session formed the focus of a work group: Risk and Protective Factors, Critical Factors for Prevention Success, Prevention Through the Schools, Prevention Through the Community, and Prevention Through the Family. Each work group was moderated by a NIDA staff person and included a panel consisting of a scientist from the plenary session, a National Prevention Network (NPN) State representative, and a community leader.
The work groups opened with the NPN representative and the community leader each giving a 5-minute response to the scientific presentation given during the plenary session. These individuals discussed their impressions of the session and how they thought the information could be relevant to their situation as a State or community representative. They also were asked to respond to the following questions:
- What did you think about what was said? Did the findings fit with your perception of the nature of the problem and proposed solutions?
- Is it feasible for you in your position to do something with this information?
- Did these findings suggest changes you could make to programming at your level?
- What are the barriers to doing so? What untapped resources could be put to these efforts?
- Do you have suggestions on how to facilitate the implementation of these types of programs?
Following this presentation, the scientist on each panel was asked to comment on these issues and to clarify his or her presentation from the plenary session. The panel members then led a discussion with work group members about specific implementation or application issues, in addition to answering any audience questions about the topic. Additional questions to be explored with work group participants during this discussion included the following:
- How would you go about utilizing or implementing the information gleaned from this session?
- Who are the key community people who would have to be involved for successful utilization or implementation, such as the school system, mayor's office, etc.?
- Are these types of interventions financially feasible for your community?
- Is your community aware of the rising trends in adolescent drug use, and if not, how can you raise awareness to attract the support that you need for your programs?
- What suggestions or insights do you have from the policy or practice arena that could further the science in this area?
- How do you access research findings on prevention? Are these findings in a useable format? What would be helpful to you on an ongoing basis?
- What about the future? What new areas of research would help you in your work? What are your information needs? Are there particular topics of research or information that you need?
Issues and recommendations for research and practice were recorded and reported by the panel scientists during the open forum on the second day of the conference.
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