Drug and alcohol abuse monitoring and prevention has been pushed from the national to the local and community level. How do communities go about measuring the effectiveness of their drug and alcohol abuse programs? Aimed at providing communities and researchers with the needed analytic and practical tools for assessing their programs, Measuring Community Indicators begins with a presentation of how to collect community indicator data. The authors argue that while highly aggregated national data perform a number of important research and policy functions, such data are distinct from community indicator data and are of questionable use to local policy-oriented officials. They present a theoretical perspective--developed from community systems theory--as a basis for the practical strategies outlined in the book. They then cover such topics as different community indicators, the role of community surveys in filling the gaps in available "official statistics," and specific techniques for the primary collection of community indicator data (such as geographical mapping, systems of community data acquisition, and community contact maintenance). Researchers and evaluators of substance abuse and substance abuse programs will find this book provides them with the interdisciplinary information necessary to conceptualize and measure community drug and alcohol problems.
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