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Improved School Prevention Programs Emerge in Response to Student Drug Abuse
Many schools are investing in better drug education and prevention programs in order to address adolescent drug abuse.
Although the U.S. government released anti-drug TV ads, many studies have found them ineffective.
The government has worked in other ways to develop drug education and prevention programs and provide resources for local communities and schools.
One resource is provided through the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The Evidence-Based Practices Resource Center contains materials for clinicians, local communities and school districts to use for education and intervention efforts.
However, researchers found that because drug education curriculum and implementation vary by grade level in every state, these efforts fall below recommended standards.
Perhaps the most recognizable anti-drug program directed toward students is that of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). When the program's approach in the 1980s and '90s was found to be ineffective in reducing teen drug abuse rates, the organization then consulted with behavioral scientists and adopted the University of Pennsylvania's 'keeping it REAL' program to improve its curriculum and switch its focus toward helping kids model good decisions-making behavior.
In addition to some school districts collaborating with DARE, naloxone overdose kits and teacher-parent involvement have become more common in buffering drug education efforts. For example, a new law in New Jersey will help place naloxone kits in every school in the event a student overdoses on campus.
Other schools are using grant money to expand their drug education programs in addition to educating teachers and parents on ways to support children in order to curb drug use.
A recent study found that a child's chances of using drugs may decrease if parents invest more time in their well-being.
One school district in Lee County, Alabama is equipping teachers with tools to recognize teen substance abuse symptoms and lead interventions.
Technological advances are also allowing school districts to incorporate online-based drug prevention programs to inform students.