Ecstasy See MDMA

ED50 The ED50 is the median effective dose—the dose of a drug that is required to produce a specific effect (e.g., relief from headache) in 50 percent of a given population. The ED50 can be estimated from a dose-effect curve, where the dose of the drug is plotted against the percentage of a population in which the drug produces the specified effect. Therefore, if the ED50s for two drugs in producing a specified amount of relief from headache are 5 and 500 milligrams, respectively, then the first drug can be said to be 100 times more potent than the second for the treatment of headaches.


Gilman, A. G., ET AL. (Eds.). (1990). Goodman and Gilman's the pharmacological basis of therapeutics, 8th ed. New York: Pergamon.

NickE. Goeders

EDUCATION AND PREVENTION American adolescents increased their use of most illicit substances throughout the 1990s after a significant drop in the previous decade, and in 1999 Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey responded to the recent Monitoring the Future study by saying drug use ''remains unacceptably high'' (University of Michigan Institute for Social Research, 1999). Data on special populations such as infants, the homeless, the ELDERLY, and those with HIV/AIDS indicate increasing needs for prevention and education throughout the life span. COCAINE and HEROIN patients in emergency rooms have also increased since 1990 and the American Lung Association estimates that 430,700 Americans die each year from diseases directly related to smoking. Clearly, the use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and other drugs— whether licit or illicit—by various age groups and special populations continues to be a problem in the United States.

The concept of prevention has evolved since the 1960s to become much broader, one that has shifted from a focus primarily on adolescents to a life-span perspective that includes all ages from the fetus through the elderly. Prevention services recognize all potentially addictive substances— including alcohol, tobacco, MARIJUANA, cocaine, Opioids, Inhalants, Hallucinogens, and prescription and nonprescription (OVER-THE-COUNTER, OTC) medications. Linkages have been developed with several services to include PREVENTION, intervention, and TREATMENT. Prevention programs now emphasize comprehensive long-term systematic programming for individuals, peer groups, FAMILIES, and/or communities. Such programs utilize prevention concepts based on the positive results of controlled experiments and quasi-experimental studies. They contain a core of pro-social skills central to the prevention of substance abuse as well as other social problems— SUICIDE, unwanted pregnancies, and VIOLENCE.

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