Guide for Drug Prevention Programs
Six of 47 national school drug programs earned an “A” grade in a
report issued by Drug Strategies, “a leading national organization
that promotes effective approaches to the nation’s drug problems,”
writes a DRUG STRATEGIES press release.
“Drug abuse prevention programs require a balance of critical
elements to succeed,” said Mathea Falco, president of Drug
Strategies. “Different programs may emphasize different elements but,
as in cooking, they can’t leave out an ingredient or skip a step and
still produce good results.
Consistency and complete implementation are the keys to success.
“Making the Grade: A Guide to School Drug Prevention Programs” lists
several criteria for a good drug prevention program:
- helps students recognize internal pressures (anxiety and stress) and
external pressures (peer attitudes and advertising;)
- develops personal and social refusal skills to resist these
- provides developmentally appropriate material and activities;
- covers necessary prevention elements in at least ten sessions a
year, with a minimum of three to five booster sessions in two
- includes teacher training and support; and contains material that is
easy for teachers to implement and culturally relevant for students.
The report examines K-12 school drug prevention programs.
Michigan Model, a comprehensive health program, is one of the six
programs that received an “A” grade. The K-8 program contains 40 to
60 lessons per year, which includes coverage of tobacco, alcohol and
drugs. According to the report, Michigan Model stresses resistance
skills training “within the context of social and personal skills
training.” It also provides “excellent” teacher training and
“sufficient opportunities for student practice.” Michigan Model is
run by the Michigan Department of Public Health.
The organization operating the program, address and phone number
are provided for each of the 47 programs evaluated.
The report is available for $12.95 per copy (or $9.95 per
copy for order of five or more) from Drug Strategies; 2445 M
Street NW; Suite 480; Washington, D.C. 20037.
– Gene Bedley