Faculty Publications


A model for the evaluation of statewide substance abuse prevention programs

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Substance Use and Misuse





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A recently completed study of the existing substance abuse prevention programs in Iowa is discussed. Content analyses were made of three sets of material: the prevention grants made to (1) community agencies and (2) community/parents' groups which were funded by the Iowa Department Substance Abuse, and (3) state agency documents. The findings revealed that there were articulation problems between the agencies and that the projects were vaguely conceived and evaluated. Although the federal Community Mental Health Centers Acts of 1963-1965 and the "Hughes Act" of 1970, and various states, have provided funding for substance abuse prevention programs, the overall effectiveness and efficiency of statewide prevention programs have received little attention in publications. A computerized literature search failed to find any evaluations of an overall statewide system. A number of states-for example, California (California State Plan, 1972) and South Carolina (Twentieth Annual Report, 1976)-have advocated the development of "model" prevention delivery systems, but followup evaluations of the "models" were not apparent. Programs in schools have been evaluated frequently (Kinder, Pape, and Walfish, 1980). However, except for Horman (1975), little has been published on the management of statewide substance abuse programs. Certainly, within the context of the present conservative political trend and federal-level budget problems, the need for statewide system level evaluations will increase. This paper describes a study which examined the prevention delivery system in one U.S. state - Iowa. The project studied the Iowa Department of Substance Abuse (IDSA), the Department of Public Instruction (DPI), the district Area Education Agencies (AEA), and the 29 community agencies which received IDSA prevention grants in 1983. Also included are the 21 parent/community groups subsidized by the Iowa Department of Substance Abuse in 1981. First, the prevention delivery system is discussed; and the study methodology, findings, and recommendations then follow. © 1987 Informa UK Ltd All rights reserved: reproduction in whole or part not permitted.

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