Scientific Meetings for Advancing Economic Analyses of Substance Abuse Prevention. NIH-funded research over the last 25 years has established that early intervention can substantially alter maladaptive developmental trajectories that lead to substance abuse and addiction. These discoveries, in turn, have led to the creation of numerous evidence-based preventive interventions (EBPI) to address the major public health problem of substance abuse. Yet, many such interventions 'sit on the shelf'as communities struggle to justify investing in the infrastructure and capacity needed for high-quality prevention programming. Consequently, the field now stands on the cusp of substantially improving how society addresses substance abuse-if communities can first be convinced that EBPIs represent a sound local investment. Until robust evidence demonstrates that allocating scarce resources to these programs is an efficient use of public monies-in that the program's benefits outweigh their costs--developmentally-based prevention efforts will continue to play a limited role in publi health. Finding such evidence will require high-quality economic evaluations of prevention efforts. To carry out such evaluations successfully, prevention scientists will need to augment current research capacity by embracing novel economic methods and perspectives as well as building sustainable collaborations with economists and policy analysts. We propose to use the R13 'Support for Conferences and Scientific Meetings'mechanism (PA-12-212) to hold a series of three meetings to convene core groups of prevention scientists, and economists to advance economic evaluations of substance abuse prevention. Key experts will be brought together to (1) cultivate a sustainable interdisciplinary research team, (2) identify analytic approaches for strengthening cost and benefit estimates, and (3) provide guidance around employing benefit-cost analyses to build efficient prevention efforts.
Scientific Meetings for Advancing Economic Analyses of Substance Abuse Prevention Until robust evidence demonstrates that allocating scarce resources to substance abuse prevention programs is an efficient use of public monies;these efforts will continue to have a limited role in public health. Meeting this demand will require hig-quality economic analyses of prevention efforts. To carry out these analyses successfully, prevention and developmental scientists need to embrace novel economic methods and perspectives, as well as build sustainable collaborations with economists and researchers in public policy. We propose to use the R13 mechanism to hold a series of three meetings to convene a core group of prevention scientists and economists to build research capacity to evaluate the economic costs, societal benefits, and efficiency of substance abuse prevention efforts.