Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents (In Brief)

Today's youth face many risks, including drug abuse, violence, and HIV/AIDS. Responding to these risks before they become problems can be difficult. One of the goals of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is to help the public understand the causes of drug abuse and to prevent its onset. Drug abuse has serious consequences in our homes, schools, and communities. From NIDA's perspective, the use of all illicit drugs and the inappropriate use of licit drugs is considered drug abuse.

Prevention science has made great progress in recent years. Many interventions are being tested in "real-world" settings so they can be more easily adapted for community use. Scientists are studying a broader range of populations and topics. They have identified, for example, effective interventions with younger populations to help prevent risk behaviors before drug abuse occurs. Researchers are also studying older teens who are already using drugs to find ways to prevent further abuse or addiction. Practical issues, such as cost-benefit analyses, are being studied. Presenting these findings to the public is one of NIDA’s most important responsibilities.

We are pleased to offer our In Brief edition of the publication, Preventing Drug Use among Children and Adolescents: A Research-Based Guide for Parents, Educators, and Community Leaders, Second Edition. The second edition offers updated principles, new questions and answers, new program information, and expanded references. This In Brief edition summarizes sections of the guide for community use. We hope you will find both the guide and the In Brief edition useful and helpful.

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
National Institute on Drug Abuse