Adolescent drug abuse poses a major threat to the health and well-being of youth, forecasting poor psychological and social adjustment, involvement with the criminal justice system, transmission of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections, and future drug abuse problems. Despite the fact that the potential benefits of preventing adolescent drug abuse are enormous, very little is known about the implementation costs and economic impact of drug abuse prevention programs. Policymakers, community-based organizations, school systems, health departments, and other agencies that deliver drug abuse prevention services need this information to make difficult decisions regarding the allocation of scarce public health resources. For the several million African American families with adolescents living in rural, resource-poor environments, no data exist on the costs and benefits of preventing drug abuse. To address this need, Dr. Corso has partnered with Drs. Brody and Kogan, who are conducting a prevention trial of a drug abuse prevention program for rural African American adolescents, and with Dr. E. Michael Foster, who has extensive experience in conducting economic evaluations of youth-focused prevention programs. In this application, we request funding to conduct an economic evaluation of the Strong African American Families-Teen (SAAF-T) program. A developmentally appropriate adaptation of the efficacious SAAF drug abuse prevention program for elementary school youth, SAAF-T is based on 15 years of longitudinal research with rural African American families and extensive community input. It is currently being tested in a randomized prevention trial with 500 10th-grade students and their families. Three complementary economic analyses, which provide a comprehensive assessment of SAAF-T's economic impact, are proposed: programmatic cost analysis, benefit-cost analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis. The SAAF-T prevention trial provides an invaluable opportunity both to determine the costs and benefits of the intervention on an underserved and understudied population and to adapt methods from the economic evaluation and drug abuse treatment literature that will foster future research and policy development on drug abuse prevention.

Public Health Relevance

A multi-disciplinary team of experts in economic evaluation and drug abuse prevention propose to conduct a prospective economic evaluation of a family-centered drug abuse prevention program designed for rural African American adolescents. The proposed economic analyses provide important information for policy makers and drug abuse prevention providers regarding the costs and the benefits of drug abuse prevention. The proposed study would support future efforts to disseminate effective drug abuse programs to the several million African American youth living in resource poor, rural environments.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Study Section
Human Development Research Subcommittee (NIDA)
Program Officer
Sims, Belinda E
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University of Georgia
Public Health & Prev Medicine
Schools of Public Health
United States
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Kogan, Steven M; Yu, Tianyi; Allen, Kimberly A et al. (2015) Racial microstressors, racial self-concept, and depressive symptoms among male African Americans during the transition to adulthood. J Youth Adolesc 44:898-909
Corso, Phaedra S; Ingels, Justin B; Kogan, Steven M et al. (2013) Economic analysis of a multi-site prevention program: assessment of program costs and characterizing site-level variability. Prev Sci 14:447-56
Ingels, Justin B; Corso, Phaedra S; Kogan, Steve M et al. (2013) Cost-effectiveness of the strong African American families-teen program: 1-year follow-up. Drug Alcohol Depend 133:556-61