School is one of the key environments to discuss with young people the impact of substance use, and deliver evidenced prevention interventions .
It is vital that the messages that are passed on to young people are appropriate and delivered in a meaningful way.
"Your Drug Prevention Program Probably Isn't Working" describes the approaches, namely shock tactics and zero tolerance approaches, that have been shown too simplistic, ineffective and at times harmful.
Instead they propose the following strategies:
- Build “developmental assets” and student strengths/skills that are incompatible with substance use.
- Make sure that every student is connected to at least one caring adult who serves as a positive role model.
- Short-circuit typical peer norms so that students view avoidance of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs to be “cooler” than using these substances.
Find out more about the different evidenced prevention approaches here.