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Drug Abuse Can Be Prevented

answered 06:25 PM EST, Sun April 29, 2012
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cherylbattey cherylbattey Middletown
Hello Dr. Strawbridge, As of September 2012 I will start taking classes in the field of Alcoholism and Drug abuse counseling. Can you tell me in what area there is the most need and demand; either in the field of prevention or cure? Also, how is the field of drug and alcoholism prevention utilized?

Dr. James Strawbridge Says...

Over the years, a number of approaches have been used in the field of prevention. These include the community, schools, the individual, the family, and peer groups. My response will focus on the community and schools. 


Programs that focus on the community address one or more of the following factors:

Availability. Most community-based programs attempt to reduce the availability of drugs; raising the drinking age to 21 years is an example of the principle. 

Social climate. This concept is based on the assumption that drug abuse arises out of environmental factors. These programs include increased law-enforcement efforts, strong school prevention programs, concerned parent groups, and antidrug editorials in the local papers 

Social bonding. This concept is based on the assumptions that drug abuse from some young people’s failure to bond to social institutions and to their norms. Programs with this focus provide young people with opportunities to make positive contributions to the community and to develop positive social bonds as a result. They involve young people in community service programs such as historical restorations, programs for the elderly, and youth job services. 


Programs that focus on schools address the following two factors: 

Deterrence. Deterrence-based programs emphasize the importance of consistently enforcing school drug policies. They advocate a drug-free policy. 

Lack of knowledge. This concept is based on the assumption that young people use drugs because they are unaware of the medical, psychological, and social hazards of drug abuse. These programs attempt to mold attitudes and beliefs that do not support drug abuse.

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Page last updated Apr 30, 2012

Topics Covered by this Expert
Parenting Prevention Socialization

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