APA Scientist Richard Spoth, PhD, was a featured speaker at the sixth in the Friends of NIDA coalition's educational briefing series, held on June 12 and entitled, "Preventing Drug Abuse: Putting Science to Practice for Real World Solutions". Dr. Spoth, Director of the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State University, presented empirical findings from his 15 years of NIDA-funded experimental research on partnership-based implementation of a range of interventions for youth and families, including long-term positive outcomes, economic benefits, success of the evidence-based PROSPER partnership model, and future directions in partnership network development. The science of preventing drug abuse has made great progress in recent years, largely due to NIDA's investment in long-term research on the biological, behavioral and environmental underpinnings of drug abuse behaviors and effective prevention programs.
Diane Eckert, a leader in a Fairfax community-based prevention coalition, discussed how evidence based practices have been effective within her community. Anna Freund, a Fairfax high school student, provided a rare youth perspective on the problem of adolescent drug abuse, and shared her experiences as a young advocate educating her peers on the risks and costs of drug abuse. Nora Volkow, MD, Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, provided an overview of NIDA's drug abuse prevention research portfolio, highlighting important differences in the brain architecture and connectivity of adolescents, including research findings on how drugs affect adolescent brain plasticity in particular. The briefing drew an audience of approximately 100 people, including personal and committee staff from House and Senate offices.
NIDA fact sheet on Preventing Drug Abuse [PDF]
Dr. Spoth's presentation [PowerPoint]
Dr. Eckert's presentation [PowerPoint]
Dr. Volkow’s presentation [PowerPoint]
Pictures from the briefing: