Deficits and other economic issues facing the federal and many state and local governments, reductions in aid at all levels of social organization (i.e., school, community, and state) have occurred and are expected to continue. Initiatives that focus on preventing and treating adolescent substance use behaviors are typically prime candidates for spending cuts, which makes research on their effectiveness especially timely. We have outlined a set of analyses that will provide critical guidance for evidence-based efforts to curb adolescent substance use behaviors and close gaps in understanding the effectiveness of key environmental strategies for reducing adolescent substance use. This proposal will provide an in-depth investigation of the processes through which school-based and state-level penalties for adolescent substance use behaviors reduce the substance use behaviors they target. We will further account for community-level exposure to anti- tobacco/drug media campaigns that are designed to also influence adolescent substance use behaviors. Specifically, in Aim #1 we will assess the effectiveness of school-based penalties for adolescent substance use behaviors (i.e., for tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana we will examine current use, excessive use, school use) across a large number of: a) schools (n= ~130 schools every 2 years), b) 12th grade students (n = ~11,800 students/year), and c) data-points (11 years of data: 1997-2007).
In Aim #2 we will investigate the effectiveness of state-level penalties towards adolescent substance use behaviors (i.e., legal penalties for: a) adolescent use of tobacco, b) underage alcohol violations, and c) marijuana possession) and their relationship with complementary school-based penalties (perceived and actual).
In Aim #3, we will examine the effectiveness of community-level and student report of exposure to anti-tobacco/drug media campaigns and their interrelationships with complementary policies identified in Aims #1 and #2. Our findings will better enable stakeholders to set substance use prevention policy priorities at school, community, and state levels. These activities will become increasingly important as lawmakers in our nation work to fund only effective substance use prevention programs. In addition, the work proposed here will make cost-efficient use of existing, integrated data. Accomplishment of these aims will be facilitated by a strong-interdisciplinary research team and a rich collaborative environment.

Public Health Relevance

Substance misuse is a major national public health problem that most often begins in adolescence. We will examine school and state-level penalties towards adolescent substance use as well as anti-tobacco/drug media campaigns. Our study will help lawmakers understand which strategies successfully reduce adolescent substance use. This is important so that funds can be directed to the key programs that effectively reduce adolescent substance use.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB)
Program Officer
Deeds, Bethany
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
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Fiscal Year
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Washington University
Schools of Medicine
Saint Louis
United States
Zip Code
Cavazos-Rehg, Patricia A; Krauss, Melissa J; Cahn, Elizabeth et al. (2018) Marijuana Promotion Online: an Investigation of Dispensary Practices. Prev Sci :
Cavazos-Rehg, Patricia A; Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2018) Exposure to and Content of Marijuana Product Reviews. Prev Sci 19:127-137
Cavazos-Rehg, Patricia A; Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2018) Leveraging user perspectives for insight into cannabis concentrates. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse 44:628-641
D'Agostino, Alexandra R; Optican, Allison R; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2017) Social networking online to recover from opioid use disorder: A study of community interactions. Drug Alcohol Depend 181:5-10
Sowles, Shaina J; Krauss, Melissa J; Gebremedhn, Lewam et al. (2017) ""I feel like I've hit the bottom and have no idea what to do"": Supportive social networking on Reddit for individuals with a desire to quit cannabis use. Subst Abus 38:477-482
Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J; Sehi, Auriann et al. (2017) Marijuana advertising exposure among current marijuana users in the U.S. Drug Alcohol Depend 174:192-200
Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J; Stelzer-Monahan, Haley E et al. (2017) ""It Takes Longer, but When It Hits You It Hits You!"": Videos About Marijuana Edibles on YouTube. Subst Use Misuse 52:709-716
Cavazos-Rehg, Patricia A; Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2017) An Analysis of Depression, Self-Harm, and Suicidal Ideation Content on Tumblr. Crisis 38:44-52
Bierut, Tatiana; Krauss, Melissa J; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2017) Exploring Marijuana Advertising on Weedmaps, a Popular Online Directory. Prev Sci 18:183-192
Krauss, Melissa J; Rajbhandari, Biva; Sowles, Shaina J et al. (2017) A latent class analysis of poly-marijuana use among young adults. Addict Behav 75:159-165

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