Drug Abuse Prevention

Further Efforts Needed To Identify Programs That Work Gao ID: HRD-88-26 December 4, 1987

In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed federal drug abuse prevention and education activities to determine: (1) how the federal government provides leadership and coordination; (2) which federal agencies are involved in these activities; (3) the amount each agency is spending and for what types of programs; and (4) how the federal government evaluates the programs.

GAO found that: (1) 12 departments or agencies spent an average of $23 million during fiscal years 1984 through 1986 for drug abuse prevention and education, with the Departments of Education, Defense, Health and Human Services, and ACTION making most of the expenditures; (2) since 1970, federal leadership in drug abuse prevention and education has expanded and reached its highest level with the passage of the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986; (3) most prevention and education programs had inadequate evaluation methods which failed to examine the impact of the programs on drug abuse; (4) although the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 contained program evaluation requirements, since agencies have not implemented them, evaluations will not be available to help states and localities decide how to use funding under the act; and (5) most states do not collect information on drug abuse prevention or monitor school-based drug abuse education programs.


Our recommendations from this work are listed below with a Contact for more information. Status will change from "In process" to "Open," "Closed - implemented," or "Closed - not implemented" based on our follow up work.

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