Substance abuse is a universal phenomenon. Its effects on human health are both deleterious and long-lasting. In spite of this, research reveals that a majority of the global populace remains yoked to it. In America, thousands report to be victims of substance abuse (Swartz, 2012). There are numerous causes of substance abuse. However, according to research, each cause is preventable. Throughout history, researchers have formulated programs aimed at preventing substance abuse, some of which are universal while others are regional.
Caring School Community Program
Caring School Community is a good example of a universal program practiced in the United States. The program is by its construction meant for elementary and primary school children. Its primary goal is to prevent substance abuse by increasing academic enthusiasm. It achieves this by carrying out a web of evidence-based activities such as class meetings, school competitions, and home side activities (Collaborativeclassroom.org, 2016).
The program mainly thrives due to an enormous backing from various organizations, trusts, individuals, and governmental bodies. The grant it receives enables it to be more diverse, which in turn improves the emotional and social skills of students. As a way to make the program popular, the organization behind the program has developed a close relationship with various schools and districts. The closeness makes the program easy to implement as well as to spread. Another marketing strategy evidently used to popularize the program is internet marketing.
Cohen and Plecas (2005) reveal that children and adolescents often face numerous social and psychological risks, which in essence contribute to their addition. The two scholars hold the view that drug education should begin with children and adolescences as they are the future of tomorrow. Their research explicitly supports the design, aims, and objectives of the program.
This program cannot thrive without the support of the government. The government can promote this program by incorporating it into the national school curriculum as well as providing financial assistance. It can destroy it by enacting stiff economic policies, which in the end will reduce grants as more people and organizations will have to reduce their spending to match the prevailing economic times.
Lifeskills Training Program
Lifeskills Training Program aims to prevent substance use among high school students (Botvin, Griffin, Paul & Macaulay, 2003). To achieve this, it concentrates on building the cognitive and behavioral skills of students. The program assumes that social influences are escapable through having strong personal and social skills. For that reason, students of this program, study various social and behavioral aspects.
The program has a remarkable backing due to its proven potential. Since its institution in the 1980s, several research findings have shown that students of the program incredibly resisted substance abuse and social influences. The program receives grants from the national government, organizations, and well-wishers.
The program targets children aged 6-12 and teenagers aged 13-17. Its focus is to reduce the use of tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. The main implementers of the program are classroom teachers, who must receive training before they undertake to teach it. Usually, the training lasts 1-2 days.
The program has become and continues to become popular due to technological advancements. For instance, teachers can now receive training through online. Students can equally learn through the internet. More importantly, the government has increased public awareness of the program.
The program survives due to governmental support. The government can further increase the effectiveness of the program by encouraging all teachers to teach it. In this way, the program is certain to reach a vast number of students. The government can hinder the program by enacting stringent economic policies.
- Botvin, G., Griffin, K., Paul, E., & Macaulay, A. (2003). Preventing tobacco and alcohol use among elementary school students through life skills training. Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse, 12(4), 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/j029v12n04_01
- Cohen, I., & Plecas, D. (2005). A Review of the Research on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) Program. www.ufv.ca. Retrieved 26 January 2016, from https://www.ufv.ca/media/assets/criminology/A-Review-of-the-Research-on-the-Drug-Abuse-Resistance-Education-%28D.A.R.E.pdf
- Collaborativeclassroom.org. (2016). Caring School Community. Retrieved 26 January 2016, from https://www.collaborativeclassroom.org/caring-school-community
- Swartz, J. (2012). Substance abuse in America. Santa Barbara, Calif.: Greenwood.