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By Jonathan Caulkins

Within the struggle on medicines, little ones are at the entrance strains. is simply announcing no defense adequate? The authors learn the result of well known college drug prevention courses to figure out how powerful they're at decreasing cocaine use and no matter if those courses are funds good spent, compared to drug-enforcement or drug-treatment courses.

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Extra info for An ounce of prevention, a pound of uncertainty: the cost-effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs

Example text

It would thus be difficult for a reactive prevention strategy to affect those early growth stages of an epidemic. An alternative would be to run prevention continuously as insurance against future drug epidemics. The limited effects of a nationwide program notwithstanding, even today the magnitude of the benefits prevention would bring through reduced cocaine use appears to justify the costs of prevention. 40 in social costs would be averted for every dollar of resources used by a model prevention program.

Greater effects and cost-effectiveness might be possible in the early, explosive stages of epidemic growth when preventing one person from initiating could prevent a cascade of subsequent initiations. Unfortunately, there is a considerable delay between implementation of a prevention program and when it begins to affect initiation into and use of cocaine. But drug epidemics are difficult to predict and, indeed, are not even always recognized as problematic until af- Page xxxi ter the peak years of initiation have passed.

Everyone would agree that program cost should include at least the cost of the program materials and of the time required to train the teacher. That minimal definition of cost results in our low estimate. We believe, however, that the cost of the program should also include the lost learning opportunity involved in having students take the drug use prevention program instead of some academic subject. That opportunity cost is difficult to evaluate. However, states and school districts have apparently thought the value of academic learning was, on average, high enough to justify allocating funds to teacher salaries and to school buildings.

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