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In the wake of findings pointing to the relatively unabated rates of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD) use by adolescents (Barnes, Welte, Hoffman, & Dintcheff, 1997; Johnston, O'Malley, & Bachman, 1994, 1995, 1996), the effectiveness of substance use prevention programs has been seriously questioned (Segal, 1995; Tobler, 1986, 1992). This is especially true when considering prevention's modest or mixed results in reducing the number of young people who experiment with or begin ATOD use (Brown & Horowitz, 1993; Moore & Saunders, 1991; Schaps, DiBartolo, Moskowitz, Palley, & Chrugin, 1981; Tobler, 1986, 1992). This point is echoed in the comments of Dr. Abraham Wandersman (1997), professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina, who, in speaking of prevention programming in schools, remarked: "There's a surprising disconnection between the latest prevention research and the prevention programming that schools actually enact ... Most schools aren't using the best-known information or the best prevention science" (p. 30). Past prevention efforts have resulted in only temporary effects, and others have not been implemented as well as expected on a national level (Pentz, Bonnie, & Shopland, 1996; Perry & Staufacker, 1996). Consequently, there is a sense of ineffectiveness and confusion among public and professional communities about what really works in reducing adolescent substance use and abuse. Among the many professions dealing with adolescent substance use, social work is at the forefront. Our roles are linked through the provision of direct public services, entitlement programs, administrative decisions, and social policy development. In particular, social workers in community school systems encounter these problems regularly, as they are asked to evaluate and intervene on behalf of adolescents with substance abuse-related difficulties (Zunz, Turner, & Norman, 1993).

July 1
National Association of Social Workers
The Gale Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation and an affiliate of Cengage Learning, Inc.

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