A Tripartite Prevention Meeting was held from September 28 through October 1,1976, at the Belmont Conference Center of the Smithsonian Institution, in Elkridge, Maryland. The Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Mental Health Administration of the U.S. Public Health Service was the host Agency. Attending were 27 representatives from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Most of these men and women were government executives with responsibility for national health policy and program administration in the areas of alcoholism, drug abuse, smoking, mental health, and psychosocial aspects of health. The meeting was designed to take advantage of their varied knowledge, experience, and aspirations in defining prevention as it applies to substance abuse and mental illness, and in charting a course for the use of preventive strategies now being developed in new forms and with new emphasis in all three nations. The proceedings which follow constitute a summary report on the conference. Papers contributed by the participants are reproduced in their entirety. Discussions are summarized and— for convenience of reference and for readability—segments of the discussions are assembled under major topics, rather than being presented chronologically according to their place in the agenda. An exception to this is the summary of the final half-day session which, with some editing, is presented as it took place. As the proceedings show, the conference was by no means limited to “state of the art” discussion. Concrete approaches to prevention that are now underway were reported on, as were newly perceived needs arising from shifting lifestyle patterns. The participants recommended that a number of collaborative activities be considered by their . three governments, and urged that a regular and continuing exchange of information be maintained, with further joint discussions in the future to serve as followup to this first, stimulating meeting.

Richard J. Bonnie, Law and the Discouragement of Unhealthy Personal Choices, in Summary Proceedings: Tripartite Conference on Prevention, US Government Printing Office, 38–46 (1977).