For a campaigner of wholesome health behavior, substance abuse is a significant issue, since its long term effects are undeniably consequential. Intervening measures are necessary, and in order to enhance already existing ones, this paper aims to evaluate them first. Two journal articles are chosen, both from The National Institute on Drug Abuse, which document how two school-based programs are being used to address the issue of substance abuse.
Mathias (2003), in his article, writes about the LifeSkills Training program1 and places emphasis on its potential as an intervening measure. High-risk youths, such as those with low grades and who are exposed to substance-abusing friends, are subjected to LST.
One year after, they are found to have lower substance use as compared to nonparticipants recognized to be in the same high-risk situation. LST however is targeted only to those identified as being in high-risk. Another school based program that has been seen to reduce substance use not only among high-risk children is the Raising Healthy Children Program.
RHC is a program directed at children in grades 1 through 12. It offers services both at school and at home, having teacher workshops, encouraging parent training and involvement, and summer camps and in-home services for particular students (Farrer, 2004).
These programs prove to be promising, and applying behavioral and health aspects, they can be enhanced. Integrity and reliability of data collection methods must be ensured, and capitalizing on its strengths must be made since both programs involve the creation of health behaviors in children, teachers and parents.
Wellness behavior is instilled in children. For instance, through RHC, not only an aversion to substance use is formed, but a commitment to schooling as well, which connotes an attempt to attain a higher level of intellectual health. Meanwhile, in parents and teachers, parenting health behavior is made since they are prompted to collaborate by a shared sense of responsibility towards the children’s well-being.
When improved, both measures can be widely extended to educate communities on the impact of substance abuse and reduce the number of those who engage in it.
Mathias, R. (2003). School prevention program effective with youths at high risk for substance use. NIDA Notes: A Collection of Articles that Address Drug Abuse Prevention, 18 (5), 17-18. Retrieved May 14, 2009, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/NNCollections/NNPrevention.pdf.
Farrer, S. (2004). School-based program promotes positive behavior, reduces risk factors for drug use, other problems. NIDA Notes: A Collection of Articles that Address Drug Abuse Prevention, 18 (6), 14-16. Retrieved May 14, 2009, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/PDF/NNCollections/NNPrevention.pdf.
National Health Promotion Associates, Inc. (2002). LifeSkills planning workbook: A guide for implementing Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin’s LifeSkills Training Program. Retrieved May 14, 2009, from http://www.lifeskillstraining.com/uploads/files/LST_Planning_WB.pdf.
See National Health Promotion Associates, Inc. (2002) for more information about LST.