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December 11, 1991

An Ounce of Prevention: Strategies for Solving Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drug Problems

Author Affiliations

Michigan Department of Public Health Lansing

Michigan Department of Public Health Lansing

JAMA. 1991;266(22):3202. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03470220118042

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


An Ounce of Prevention attempts to quantify the dimensions of drug problems and evaluates the country's approaches to solving them. By addressing tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs, it is one of the most comprehensive recent books on substance use.

The first part summarizes the roles of various federal agencies and national organizations in the prevention and treatment of substance use and explains why prevention is where it is on the national agenda. Part two focuses on prevention and treatment of use of the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol. Part three describes illicit drug use in the United States and the key problems in treating drug addiction.

The book concludes with a discussion of how to build to a stronger climate for prevention. The dimensions of the problem are contrasted with the relatively small federal investment in prevention and treatment. The federal budget allocates 75% of drug moneys to interdiction and