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National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research:
Presentations, Papers, and Recommendations


Work Group Reports

Work Group on Critical Factors for Prevention Success

William B. Hansen, Ph.D., Reporter

National Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention Research

Our work group developed a "top 10" list of critical factors and recommendations for prevention success:

  • Recommendation Number 10: Moving from science to practice remains a challenge. There is a need for continuing training, education, and communication.

  • Recommendation Number 9: Oregon has mandated prevention services as part of its managed care contracts. I think that is a point worth noting.

  • Recommendation Number 8: I want to quote this as closely as I can. "There are data, and then there are data." Evaluation must start with meaningful activities where information is truly useful.

  • Recommendation Number 7: Involving youth in community service is a naturally available alternative that is protective and creates a natural high.

  • Recommendation Number 6: Some communities are just not ready for prevention; however, they will take money for prevention, even if they do not do anything with it. We need to do research on how to promote community readiness. There are some communities that are in denial, and there are some communities where drug abuse does not even enter the radar screen.

  • Recommendation Number 5: This is duplicative, but if you can hear it enough times then maybe you can catch this: Local community research needs funding. It has no funding. It has to be a high priority. It involves getting things from selected sites down to local sites where local decisionmakers can actually make decisions.

  • Recommendation Number 4: Being data-driven does not necessarily mean ignoring theory or intuition, and it does not mean being atheoretical or being counterintuitive. Both theory and intuition are needed with the data.

  • Recommendation Number 3: Logic models can help guide policy and evaluation. There was an after-session meeting that crystallized this [idea] that people in my earlier session might not have caught. Science can tell us a great deal about prevention. What if we have not done evaluations yet? Can science still help us evaluate the things that we have done, things that we are proposing to do? Yes, it can. Logic models are embodied in many of the things that Elaine Johnson talks about and a lot of the work that community partnerships and coalitions have been trained to do. This involves listing things that are equivalent to risk and protective factors and then seeing how the programs that we are addressing match up with that list. This can be a valuable tool for communities to use.

  • Recommendation Number 2: Not everything we do should be evaluated. Somebody said that. It stuck in my head, so I thought I would report it.

  • Recommendation Number 1: When considering a response to rising inhalant use, we need to focus on education rather than legislation. Also, legalizing marijuana would send the wrong message to youth and would interfere with education.

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