Evidence Based Substance Abuse - Implementing...

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Implementing Evidence-Based Substance Use Prevention Curricula in North Carolina Public School Districts Melinda M. Pankratz, Denise D. Hallfors ABSTRACT: The Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) provides funding for prevention education to nearly every school district in the nation. Recent federal policy requires SDFSCA recipients to implement evidence-based prevention programs. This paper reports the extent to which North Carolina public school districts implement evidence-based substance use prevention curricula. Results showed that while the majority of school districts use evidence-based prevention curricula, they are rarely the most commonly used curricula. Evidence-based curricula are much more likely to be used at the middle school level than at the elementary or high school levels. Urbanicity, coordinator time, and coordinator experience correlated with extensive use of evidence-based curricula in the bivariate analysis, but only time spent on prevention by the Safe and Drug-Free Schools (SDFS) coor- dinator significantly predicted extensive use in the multivariate analysis. Increasing district SDFSCA coordinator time is a necessary step for diffusing evidence-based curricula. (J Sch Health. 2004;74(9):353-358) T he Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) represents the largest single source of federal funding for the prevention of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use.' Administered by the US Department of Education, SDFSCA provides prevention funding to virtu- ally every school district in the nation.^ The SDFSCA program has appropriated more than $8 billion since its inception in 1986.' Despite the significant monetary investment, the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs among adolescents remains a major public health concern. In the first year of SDFSCA funding, the Monitoring the Future national survey of high school seniors found that 64% of 12th graders had drank alcohol, 29% had smoked tobacco, and 21% had used an illicit drug during the past month." Adolescent substance use rates declined during the first few years of SDFSCA funding, but this decline was followed by a significant upsurge lasting throughout most of the 1990s. Today, 50% of 12th graders report consuming alcohol, 30% report smoking tobacco, and 26% report using an illicit drug within the past month." With the realization that adolescent substance use rates had not declined. Congress questioned whether the activi- ties being funded could be effective in preventing substance use.' In response to these questions, the federal SDFSCA program increasingly emphasized the importance of using evidence-based prevention programs that have been rigor- ously tested and found to reduce substance use. In 1998, the US Department of Education promulgated the Principles of Effectiveness, which require SDFSCA recipients to imple- ment prevention programs that have evidence of their effec- tiveness,*' and appointed an Expert Panel to designate "Exemplary" and "Promising" school-based prevention
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This note was uploaded on 05/10/2010 for the course H ED 660 taught by Professor Goldberg during the Spring '10 term at San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking.

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Evidence Based Substance Abuse - Implementing...

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