Research over the last two decades has proven that drug and alcohol addiction is both preventable and treatable. Therefore, prevention strategies must be a critical component for any comprehensive national strategy to address drug use and underage drinking.

To reach all of America’s youth, parents and communities with comprehensive strategies, programs and services, enhanced drug and alcohol prevention funding is needed. Our nation needs to make a substantial investment in delaying the age that American youth start to use alcohol and illegal drugs, or misuse legal drugs. Every new cohort of youth must have the benefit of effective alcohol and drug abuse prevention. The following PowerPoint Presentations have been used by CADCA’s Public Policy Department to make the case for investing in prevention in general, and specifically in the Drug Free Communities and State Grants portion of the Safe and Drug Free Schools and Communities programs.



  • Evidence-based primary prevention, to stop substance use before its starts, is cost-effective, with research showing that, for each dollar invested in prevention, between $2 and $20 in treatment and other health costs can be saved (Swisher, J.D., Scherer and Yin, K. The Journal of Primary Prevention. "Cost-Benefit Estimates in Prevention Research." 25:2, October 2004).

According to the 2016 Monitoring the Future (MTF) Study Results:

  • Use of alcohol and cigarettes among 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students are at their lowest rates in the history of the survey
  • Misuse of prescription opioids has declined by 45% among high school seniors over the past 5 years, from 8.7% to 4.8%
  • Past year use of synthetic marijuana by 12th graders declined at a rate of 69% since 2011, from 11.4% to 3.5%
  • E-cigarette use among high school seniors declined for the first time after several years of increases, from 16.2% in 2015 to 12.4% in 2016.

According to the 2016 MTF Study Results:

  • Marijuana and e-cigarettes are more popular than regular tobacco cigarettes.
  • 1 in every 16 high school seniors (6 %) is a current daily or near-daily marijuana user.
  • Almost 3 in every 10 of 12th grade past-year misusers of prescription narcotic drugs indicated that they took them from a friend or relative
  • Despite a gradual annual decline, nearly 1 in 6 high school seniors still reported binge drinking in the past 2 weeks.
  • Despite its cost-effectiveness, federal funding for substance use/misuse prevention has been cut by 34% between FY 2009 and FY 2016.