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Informing America’s Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don’t Know Keeps Hurting Us
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Preventing Drug Use: Chapter 7
The committee recommends additional research to assess the effectiveness of social competency skill development and normative education approaches, which emphasize conveying correct information about the prevalence of drug use and its harmful effects.
The committee recommends additional research on prevention practices implemented under conditions of normal practice so that variability in effects from study to study may be better understood. The committee recommends further research on alternative methods and targeting mechanisms for teaching social competency skills.
The committee recommends a major increase in current efforts to evaluate drug prevention efforts. Further research is needed to better understand (1) effects of the entire spectrum of plausible approaches to prevention proposed or in use, rather than those that are most easily evaluated; (2) effects of drug prevention programs implemented under conditions of normal practice, outside the boundaries of the initial tightly controlled experimental tests of program efficacy under optimal conditions; (3) effects of different combinations of prevention programs, for example, how they complement each other or detract from one another when used in combination, as they most often are; and (4) the extent to which experimentally induced delays in tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use yield reductions in later involvement with cocaine and other illegal drugs specifically, and long-term effects of prevention programming more generally.