The irrelevance of evidence in the development of school-based drug prevention policy, 1986-1996.
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This article examines development in school-based drug prevention policy and programming since the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Using data from national surveys and evaluations of school-based programs, it argues, first, that there was really no need for a massive infusion of money into school-based drug prevention in the late 1980s, and, second, that there was little or no evidence to indicate that a "new generation" of effective programs, based on the so-called social influence model, was emerging at this time. Despite the infusion of resources into school-based prevention efforts, adolescent drug use has risen in recent years. Moreover, evaluations continue to show that the effectiveness of social influence programs is very much in the eye of the beholder. Fundamental questions need to be asked of school-based drug prevention--just as they should be asked of other key components of our current drug control policy.
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