Some great news to share from The Partnership at Drug Free.org about a new research study that shows substance abuse prevention programs that begin educating students in middle school may help to deter prescription drug abuse later in life.
Scientists analyzed the findings from three studies of family-based and school-based prevention programs designed for rural and small-town middle school students. It was found that students who completed these substance abuse prevention programs were 20 percent to 65 percent less likely to abuse prescription drugs when they were 17-25 years old, in comparison to students who did not participate in the educational programs.
The programs researched in the study focused mainly on general risk and protective factors of substance abuse. According to research findings published in the American Journal of Public Health, “Brief universal interventions have potential for public health impact by reducing prescription drug misuse among adolescents and young adults.”
Schools are an important setting to reach youth with prevention activities. InnerAct Alliance is proud to provide science-based education programs “Too Good for Drugs”, Project: ALERT, “Too Good for Violence”, “Keep a Clear mind”, and the PAX game to students in 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th grades in Polk, Hardee, and Highlands counties. The curriculum for these programs include practicing use of resistance skills to face issues of peer pressure, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication, and substance abuse through role-play and student interaction groups.
Another important element to the curriculum is normative education about how many of the peers in the adolescent age group have actually tried alcohol, tobacco, and illicit drugs – which is a lot less than most teens think it is! For instance, were you aware that 72% of Polk County students do not drink alcohol? And that 98% of Polk students say they don’t use prescription drugs.
It’s always reaffirming to hear about positive research reports that clearly show prevention works, and we greatly appreciate your continued support of the programs offered by our agency, which share the substance abuse message with approximately 10,000 students in the tri-county area annually!