The history of drug abuse prevention campaigns suggests limitations in producing measurable changes in behavior. In the past, there was concern over the possibility of such publicity actually encouraging interest in drug use, rather than discouraging such behavior. Although little or no scientifically sound empirical evidence has been found to support such a view, several social science textbooks still refer to this as something of which to be wary.
Reviews of early research appear to indicate inadequate methods and a lack of rigor in theory testing. In recent years, however, research in communication and its uses in drug abuse prevention has become considerably more sophisticated, and communication is being used far more effectively. In this book, the editors bring together some of the most successful drug abuse prevention researchers in the country -- along with other experts in this field or in persuasive communication -- to address use and effects of both mass media and interpersonal strategies. This collection illustrates just how far the study of public influence through mass media has come, especially regarding such a vital, relevant issue as drug abuse prevention.