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Making It Happen: An Evaluation of the Drugs Prevention Initiative's Contribution to Local Partnerships

NCJ Number
Teresa Williams
Date Published
80 pages
A study conducted in England focused on the nature, scale, and impact of the work of local drug prevention teams established as part of the Home Office Drugs Prevention Initiative.
The initiative began in 1990 with 20 small teams working with local communities to encourage the development of local drug prevention projects and programs. The second phase began in April 1995 and involved 12 larger teams to deliver local action within a national framework. Study information came from management information systems and interviews with team members and local policymakers. Results revealed that the teams' primary role has been to stimulate and support local activity to demonstrate what is effective in drug prevention. The teams have also provided general support and advice for local policymakers and practitioners and have developed close working relationships with the Drug Action Teams and Drugs Reference Groups and subgroups established by the government's drug strategy. However, barriers have hindered the development of local drug prevention strategies. These barriers include a lack of clarity about what drug prevention is, the low priority attached to prevention in comparison with other commitments, resource constraints, and other factors. Nevertheless, drug prevention teams have had an important role in helping local groups overcome these barriers. The teams have been particularly valued for contributing to a clearer understanding of drug prevention, producing advice ad support based on practice, emphasizing research and evaluation, and contributing new money through grants and other sources, and other activities. Overall, findings indicated that strategically planned drug prevention activity is unlikely to continue in the absence of a dedicated local resource; the program's experience also indicated the necessary ingredients for such a local resource. Figures and 4 references