Purpose: Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions. Nonmedical prescription opioid use carries increasingly high costs. Despite the need to cultivate efforts that are both effective and fiscally responsible, the cost-effectiveness of universal evidence-based-preventive-interventions (EBPIs) is rarely evaluated. This study explores the performance of these programs to reduce nonmedical prescription opioid use. Methods: Sixth graders from twenty-eight rural public school districts in Iowa and Pennsylvania were blocked by size and geographic location and then randomly assigned to experimental or control conditions (2002-2010). Within the intervention communities, prevention teams selected a universal family and school program from a menu of EBPIs. All families were offered a family-based program in the 6th grade and received one of three school-based programs in 7th-grade. The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of each school program by itself and with an additional family-based program were assessed using propensity and marginal structural models. Results: This work demonstrates that universal school-based EBPIs can efficiently reduce nonmedical prescription opioid use. Further, findings illustrate that family-based programs may be used to enhance the cost-effectiveness of school-based programs. Conclusions: Universal EBPIs can effectively and efficiently reduce nonmedical prescription opioid use. These programs should be further considered when developing comprehensive responses to this growing national crisis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health