Research the various drug prevention programs (family-based, school-based, etc.) utilized today and examine why some programs have been more successful than others in fighting drug abuse. Follow the guidelines below for submission of the assignment:
Drug Prevention Programs
Drug and alcohol abuse is a serious problem facing many individuals and especially the youths who are at a significantly higher risk of developing the habit. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (2017), the government incurs over $740 billion in expenditures relating to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. These costs involve lost productivity, crimes leading to losses, and the costs of health care provision. Drug prevention programs play a crucial role in preventing youths from engaging in drug and alcohol abuse. This paper is an analysis of the various drug prevention programs utilized today and their relative success.
School-Based Drug Prevention Programs
School-based drug prevention programs aim at preventing school-age youths from engaging in drugs and alcohol abuse. The effectiveness of the school-based programs depends on the delivery mode; a social influence approach and delivering the content in an interactive manner are effective in preventing drug abuse among the youths (Vogl, Teesson, Newton, & Andrews, 2012). Employing interactive and participatory teaching techniques can significantly influence students’ attitude toward drug and alcohol use. Strom et al. (2014) concluded that the impact of school-based prevention programs is small but positive.
One of the eminent school-based drug prevention program has been the Life Skills program. Life Skills Training (LST) targets youths in middle school. The program takes three years and focuses on a number of issues including drug and alcohol abuse, tobacco use, violence, and risk behaviors among teenagers. The program aims at teaching youths in various areas such as social skills, resistance skills, and personal management skills. The success of this program depends heavily on the delivery method. Interactive delivery methods are likely to have a higher effect on youth behavior and attitude towards drugs and alcohol abuse (Vogl, Teesson, Newton, & Andrews, 2012).
Family-Based Drug Prevention Programs
Family-based drug prevention programs aim at preventing or reducing drug and alcohol use among the youth by focusing on risk factors within the family. There are certain risk factors among families that increase the likelihood of youths engaging in crime, for instance, abusive parents. Family-based prevention programs focus on both the parents or guardians and the youths. Some programs aim at influencing parents to establish clear rules concerning drug and alcohol abuse. Generally, family-based prevention programs focus on enhancing proper family management practices that reduce the chances of youths engaging in drugs and alcohol abuse. The main family management skills are family relational skills and parenting skills.
According to Kumpfer (2014), family-based drug prevention programs are an effective and cheaper way of preventing or reducing drug and alcohol abuse among the youth. Family-based interventions are effective because members of the same family can learn how to interact in better ways, which is likely to have positive impacts on youth behavior. The Fast Track Program is an example of a family-based prevention program. This program targeted families where children reported higher rates of aggression in Grade 1. The program outcomes points to reduced drug and alcohol use among youths enrolled in the program. The Strong African American Families is another program that has yielded positive results.
Community-Based Drug Prevention Programs
Some communities have programs meant to fight drug and alcohol abuse among the youth. Some agencies may come together to develop community-based programs to fight drug and alcohol abuse at the ground levels. For instance, certain organizations may deploy trained professionals in certain areas to fight drug and alcohol abuse. Common strategies employed include information campaigns, after-school programs such as sports, resource libraries, community coalitions, and among others. An example of a community-based drug prevention program is one sponsored by ASAP Center, a health organization foundation.
ASAP Center has played a critical role in reducing incidences of drug and alcohol abuse among the youths. The center provides a support system for youths who are at risk of engaging in drug and alcohol abuse. The center applies evidence-based prevention practices in communities to fight drug abuse. ASAP Center applies four major steps in the fight against drug abuse. The first step involves evaluating the available prevention approaches. The second step is to create awareness of the various resources available for prevention. Third, the center aims at applying the available prevention resources. The last step involves implementing various activities concerned with prevention.
Why some Programs are More Successful than Others
The core elements that determine the success of any type of drug prevention program are content, structure, and the mode of delivery. Structure refers to various elements such as setting, program type, and the audience. Varying the setting can have significant impacts on the success of the program. For example, holding a school-based drug prevention program at a youth center may have different results from the one held at school. Content refers to three key elements of the drug prevention program. These are services, information, strategies, and skills development. Skills development is the most critical element. Skills development can enable the youths learn how to manager peer pressure or ow to build positive relations with family members. Delivery concerns how the particular program is implemented, for instance, the number of lessons, follow-ups, and methods of delivery.
ASAP Center. (2010). Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. Retrieved from https://www.interactforhealth.org/docs/Supporting%20Community- Based%20Substance%20Abuse%20Prevention.pdf
Kumpfer, K. L. (2014). Family-Based Interventions for the Prevention of Substance Abuse and Other Impulse Control Disorders in Girls. ISRN Addiction, 2014, 308789. http://doi.org/10.1155/2014/308789
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). (2017). Trends and statistics. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics
Strøm, H. K., Adolfsen, F., Fossum, S., Kaiser, S., & Martinussen, M. (2014). Effectiveness of school-based preventive interventions on adolescent alcohol use: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy, 9, 48. http://doi.org/10.1186/1747-597X-9-48
Vogl, L. E., Teesson, M., Newton, N. C., & Andrews, G. (2012). Developing a school-based drug prevention program to overcome barriers to effective program implementation: The CLIMATE schools: Alcohol module. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2(3), 410- 422. 10.4236/ojpm.2012.23059
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