Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


Substance Use and Addiction Conference; Washington DC; 2018

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #8
Closing Remarks: Reducing the Nation's Drug Abuse Problems Through Effective Public Policy
Tuesday, November 20, 2018
2:30 PM–3:00 PM
Independence Hall A
Domain: Theory
Chair: Mark Galizio (University of North Carolina Wilmington)

Closing Remarks: Reducing the Nation's Drug Abuse Problems Through Effective Public Policy

ANTHONY BIGLAN (Oregon Research Institute)
Anthony Biglan, Ph.D., is a Senior Scientist at Oregon Research Institute. He is the author of The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve our Lives and Our World. Dr. Biglan has been conducting research on the development and prevention of child and adolescent problem behavior for the past 30 years. His work has included studies of the risk and protective factors associated with tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use; high-risk sexual behavior; and antisocial behavior. He has conducted numerous experimental evaluations of interventions to prevent tobacco use both through school-based programs and community-wide interventions. And, he has evaluated interventions to prevent high-risk sexual behavior, antisocial behavior, and reading failure. In recent years, his work has shifted to more comprehensive interventions that have the potential to prevent the entire range of child and adolescent problems. He and colleagues at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences published a book summarizing the epidemiology, cost, etiology, prevention, and treatment of youth with multiple problems (Biglan et al., 2004). He is a former president of the Society for Prevention Research. He was a member of the Institute of Medicine Committee on Prevention, which released its report in 2009 documenting numerous evidence-based preventive interventions that can prevent multiple problems. As a member of Oregon’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Commission, he is helping to develop a strategic plan for implementing comprehensive evidence-based interventions throughout Oregon. Information about Dr. Biglan’s publications can be found at

These closing remarks will attempt to draw out the implications of the evidence presented in this conference for public policy. The evidence to be presented at the conference points to numerous ways in which we can reduce drug abuse. However, the widespread and effective implementation of these evidence-based strategies will require us to articulate and advocate for public policies that will make effective strategies available and that will prevent the development of drug abuse in the first place. I will briefly present a number of specific policies that could be advocated and will then discuss the steps that individual behavioral scientists and behavioral science organizations could take to advance these policies.




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