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Drug Tests in Prevention Research

  • Robert L. DuPont
  • Keith E. Saylor
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Firm, clear, and consistent consequences, such as termination from employment or suspension from athletic participation, enhance the preventive effects of drug tests, since outcome expectations and perceived self-efficacy influence people’s actions and behaviors. The drug-testing programs of the U.S. military services illustrate the dramatic effects that can be achieved by use of random drug testing based on standardized testing procedures and backed by strict disciplinary consequences. These findings from two decades of experience are ripe for study in prevention research. While drug-testing programs have also reduced illicit drug use in many arenas, including the workplace, the criminal justice system, and athletic competitions, broader and more consistent efforts are needed in prevention research. Based on these results, it appears that model drug-testing programs in prevention research need to be developed to advance the use of reliable and cost-effective drug-testing programs. More study is also needed on the preventive effects of drug testing on adolescents and young adults. Random drug testing has been implemented in several U.S. school districts, including Dade County, Florida, but the practice is uncommon, and outcome data are unavailable. Research is needed on the results of these pioneering programs. Overall, drug testing provides valuable information to researchers on preventing drug use and extends the information provided by self-reported data on drug use.

Keywords

Illicit Drug Criminal Justice System Drug Testing Prevention Research Outcome Expectation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert L. DuPont
    • 1
    • 2
  • Keith E. Saylor
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Behavior and Health, Inc.Rockville
  2. 2.Bensinger, DuPont & AssociatesRockville
  3. 3.NeuroScience, Inc.Bethesda

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