Question: Develop Own Drug Abuse Prevention Program

Imagine you were asked to develop a drug abuse prevention program based on the 9 principles outlined under “Prevention Research”. Using these principles as a foundation or guide, describe your program. Additional resources are provided for additional guidance into essential components of a prevention program.  Be creative. (Consider advances in technology such as Apps).  Remember to consider families. 

“Prevention Research”: Prevention programs are not “one size fits all”; instead, they need to address the factors that influence use and addiction at various developmental stages and must also be customized to the culture, community, and alcohol and other drugs of abuse. Prevention programs are the most effective interventions if they utilize the following principles (National Institute on Drug Abuse [NIDA], 2014).

1. Enhance protective factors and the reduce risk factors to reinforce resiliency (Hawkins, Catalano, & Arthur, 2002).

2. Strengthen protective factors such as improved parent and child communication and involvement (Hawkins, Kosterman, Catalano, Hill, & Abbot, 2008).

3. Focus on all substances used in the community and population with an emphasis on risk and resiliency factors (Hawkins et al., 2002).

4. Prescribe the format and content for the community demographics, and protective and risk factors (Chou et al., 1998).

5. Focus on developmentally appropriate prevention and interventions addressing specific risk factors (e.g., parental monitoring) (Kosterman, Hawkins, Haggerty, Spoth, & Redmond, 2001).

6. Diagnose and remediate factors associated with addictions such as aggression, depression, poor social skills, and impulsivity (Beets et al., 2009).

7. Target academic, social, and emotional learning environment, including peer support and communication, study skills and academic support, self-reliance, peer pressure resistance, and accurate antidrug information (Beets et al., 2009).

8. Target developmental transition points such as elementary to middle school and high school to college. All students at transition points are included and, therefore, there is no stigma involved with participation (Hawkins et al., 2008).

9. Combine several evidence-based preventative interventions to have a more powerful impact.

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