Prevention: The Return on Investment

Investing in prevention is an economic no-brainer, according to recent study. A report released by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) determined that communities will reap dramatic savings by using drug abuse and violence programs proven to be effective. One such program, the top-rated Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program, was found to produce a $38 benefit for every dollar invested. The report presented the results of an extensive economic analysis of a number of different programs, carefully weighing the costs and benefits of the programs assessed. LST had the highest return on investment for the school-based prevention programs studied.

In April 2012, Washington State Institute for Public Policy updated their report entitled “Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes.”The report, similar to an investment advisor’s “buy-sell” list, contains current recommendations on policy options that can give taxpayers a good return on their investment (“buys”), as well as those that apparently cannot (“sells”). Investing in LST represents a 38-to-1 return to communities in terms of reduced corrections costs, welfare and social services burden, drug and mental health treatment; and increased employment and tax revenue.

via Cost-Benefit Studies.


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