Friday, July 31, 2009

Scare tactics are not prevention strategies

Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of drug prevention strategies. According to these studies, the following have been shown to be largely ineffective for reducing substance abuse:

-- information dissemination approaches which teach primarily about drugs and their effects;

-- fear arousal approaches that emphasize the risks associated with drug use, such as mock car crashes;

-- moral appeal approaches which teach youth about the evils of use;

-- affective education programs which focus on building self-esteem, responsible decision-making, and interpersonal growth.

When planning for prevention programs, the following links provide guidance about what does work:

Principles of Effective Substance Abuse Prevention;

Sixteen Prevention Principles.

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