Is Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) an Evidence-Based Drug and Violence Prevention Program? A Review and Reappraisal of the Evaluation Studies
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This paper critically reviews the published evidence pertaining to Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND). Publications from seven evaluation studies of Project TND are reviewed, and the results from these are discussed as related to the following outcomes: main effects on the use of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana; main effects on the use of "hard drugs," defined in the evaluations as cocaine, hallucinogens, stimulants, inhalants, ecstasy and other drugs (e.g., depressants, PCP, steroids and heroin); subgroup and interaction analyses of drug use; and violence-related behaviors. Very few main effects have been found for cigarette, alcohol and marijuana use in the Project TND evaluations. While studies do report main effects for hard drug use, these findings are subject to numerous threats to validity and may be attributable to the data analyses employed. Similarly, while isolated subgroup and interaction effects were found for alcohol use among baseline nonusers and some violence-related behaviors in the early Project TND evaluations, these findings have not been replicated in more recent studies and may result from multiple comparisons between study conditions. In conclusion, there is little evidence to support the assertion that Project TND is an effective drug or violence prevention program. The broader implications of these findings for prevention science are discussed and suggestions are made as to how the quality of research in the field might be improved.
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