Youth, Drugs and Resilience Education

by Joel H. Brown, Ph.D., M.S.W. Center for Educational Research and Development

From: Journal of Drug Education, 2001, 31, 1, pp. 83-122.

Billions of dollars are spent annually on school-based drug education programs, with youthful drug use remaining near peak levels since the 1980s. Institutional, policy, and program evidence presented here suggests that although primarily delivered in schools, the educational community rarely participates in the development of drug education; and despite the finding that “no-use” programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) or Life-Skills Training (LST) are largely ineffective, they continue to thrive in schools. This may be explained by insufficient educational participation and scientific discourse considering these issues; and the role of interest group politics, such as the symbiotic relationship between government, researchers, and the tobacco industry, in drug education. In addition to this evidence, resilience based program alternatives, evaluation, and implications are discussed.

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