Community Based Drug Prevention:

Comprehensive Evaluations of Efforts Are Needed

GGD-93-75: Published: Mar 24, 1993. Publicly Released: Apr 28, 1993.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about the federal role in helping communities establish drug prevention programs, focusing on: (1) what the federal government expects of community based coalitions (CBC) and how it is helping CBC meet those expectations; (2) CBC goals and successes; and (3) community groups' participation in developing the national drug control strategy.

GAO found that: (1) the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) expects CBC to develop and implement comprehensive long-term drug prevention strategies involving all entities within the community; (2) the community partnership demonstration program's goals are to reduce drug abuse among youth and in the workplace, and drug-related health problems and crime, by coordination of prevention providers, innovative prevention approaches, and self-sustaining youth programs; (3) CSAP has provided technical assistance and awarded $221 million in grants to 250 CBC since 1989; (4) CSAP could fund only 157 CBC in fiscal year 1991 due to a lack of funds; (5) CSAP requires CBC to evaluate the effectiveness of their programs in meeting their goals and whether their programs could be changed to improve effectiveness; (6) CSAP has contracted for a national evaluation to identify exemplary and innovative models incorporating effective strategies for drug use prevention, but it has not received sufficient funding to complete the evaluation; and (7) CBC views on whether federal assistance has been helpful depended on whether their programs had been approved and funded. GAO also found that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has solicited input from state and local officials, including CBC, while formulating its national drug control strategy.

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