Environmental change strategies targeting drug abuse prevention

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The purpose of this paper is to highlight the three articles included in a special focus of Drugs: Education, Prevention, and Policy that address environmental change strategies targeting drug abuse prevention. We define environmental change strategies and their effectiveness in public health domains such as alcohol abuse, smoking, and obesity. We then discuss the three articles, each of which addresses different aspects of how environmental change strategies might be best implemented and measured. The first paper by Agley et al. (2014) examines the challenges of implementing an evidence-based practice, specifically screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment to address drug abuse in primary care settings. The second paper by Kreiner et al. looks at encouraging providers to implement safe prescribing practices for controlled substances and to translate work being done in the medical community to the prevention specialist domain. The third paper by Quinlan et al. conducts a review of the literature on environmental change strategies targeting nonmedical use of marijuana and provides results showing the most and least effective of these interventions. This special focus is intended to build the evidence base for effective environmental change strategies to prevent drug abuse, generate critical analyses, and spur future research that will help improve the implementation and evaluation of such interventions.

Publication Title

Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy