Universal Prevention, Day 3, Track 1, 13:30-15:00
Presented as part of the Uniting the global community to face the challenge of addiction event, in-person on 14th May, 2022
- Evolution of Community-based Peer Led Intervention for prevention of substance use among children: Experiential Learning Model from Chandigarh, India - Manish Kumar
- Planet Youth across the world. An evidence-based prevention model being adapted to different cultures - Dr. Pall Rikhardsson
- Environmental Prevention. A paradigm shift? - Dr. Patricia Ros
Evolution of Community-based Peer Led Intervention for prevention of substance use among children: Experiential Learning Model from Chandigarh, India - Manish Kumar
Background: Findings of the “Magnitude of Substance Use in India” (2019) indicate the prevalence of substance use among children and adolescents(10-17 yrs.) moreover, National Crime Records Bureau data shows the rising trend of crimes by juveniles.
Objectives & Rationale: SPYM in partnership with Chandigarh Police implemented a project among children vulnerable to substance use in India. The project aimed to a) disseminate facts in relation to harmful effects of substance abuse amongst children and b) impart life skills education with a focus on non-formal education, health & hygiene, value inculcation for positive individual growth.
Methodology: The project assured active involvement of stakeholders, leveraging on local resources in order to build the ownership of intervention by the community. The experiential learning model is used, administered by a trained pool of Peer Educators through interactive methods.
Results: A total of 1393 vulnerable children were covered. Key outcomes of the impact assessment study are a) Reduction in absenteeism from school from 23% to 9% b) Reduction in substance use from 18% to 5%.
Conclusion: Based on the SPYM experience & advocacy, the project is scaled up in above 150 districts across India by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India.
Planet Youth across the world. An evidence-based prevention model being adapted to different cultures - Dr. Pall Rikhardsson
Planet Youth was developed from the Icelandic Prevention Model - a theory-based approach with demonstrated effectiveness in reducing substance use among children and adolescents in Iceland for the last 20 years.
The Planet Youth model focuses on building a community environment that delays the onset of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. It has a track record of being an effective approach to reducing the long-term health problems related to youth substance use.
The Planet Youth Guidance Program aims to strengthen protective factors, mitigate risk factors, and build healthy community environments for positive youth development by focusing on four key domains: Family, peer group, leisure time, and school. This is based on implementing evidence-based and data driven practice; community-based changes and a dialogue between researchers, practitioners, and policy makers.
The Guidance Program enables communities to learn, grow, and develop solutions that will work locally. This work relies on community leadership and expertise and is not a “one size fits all” approach
In our presentation we will address what we have learn in implementing this model in hundreds of communities around the world.
Environmental Prevention. A paradigm shift? - Dr. Patricia Ros
It is in the early 2000s that it becomes clear that a new element in prevention, complementary to the previous ones, based on accumulated experience, when it was discovered that an excellent way to prevent drug use is through normative changes. That is, through laws and regulations we can achieve very important changes in the health of citizens, thereby achieving a high level of prevention of problem behaviours, especially on the subject of legal and illegal drugs.
The article by Gregor Burkhart (2011) is well known. "environmental prevention strategies are aimed at altering the immediate cultural, social, physical and economic environments in which people do their choices about drug use ”(p. 89).
Reviews such as those by Steinberg (2008) have shown that adolescents have enough information about drugs. But still many consume them and do so in the presence of their peers in group contexts. Given that the weight of biological, emotional, psychological and social factors in adolescence guide their behaviour, it is necessary to implement actions of another type, environmental actions.
It is assumed in this case that the best way to change the behaviour is to change the context where it is carried out (Stern, 2005).
Thus, universal prevention for children and adolescents must change the paradigm. We must stop targeting minors and adolescents through persuasion strategies and focus on the contexts in which they develop and grow. If these contexts are safer and healthier, the chances for minors and adolescents to make healthier decisions will increase exponentially.