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Drug use prevention – school programming and protective factors | NCLEX-RN | Khan Academy

– [Instructor] One very important topic in any conversation about drug abuse is drub abuse prevention, or whether or not anything can be done to prevent drug abuse before it starts. So let’s start off by
talking about the government. The government tries to prevent drug abuse by making certain substances illegal. And by doing so, they are attempting to
limit the availability of those substances, which is a form of prevention. The government also tries
to prevent use and abuse by punishing those who
use and sell substances. And the idea here of course is that people don’t like to be punished, so they’re not going to
use and abuse substances if that leads to punishment. Another way that people try
to prevent drug use and abuse is through a number of programs that are aimed at children,
preteens, and teens. And these programs are
often presented in schools, religious groups, and youth groups, and their aim is to stop
drug use before it starts. You might be familiar with
some of these programs. You might have gone through them yourself when you were in elementary
school or middle school. But two very popular ones are D.A.R.E, which stands for Drug
Abuse Resistance Education, and another program called Just Say No. These types of programs
might be taught by teachers and integrated into existing curricula, or they might be taught by someone who is brought in from outside the school, which could include guest speakers or even police officers. And these types of programs, though all somewhat
different from each other, tend to focus on three main things. The first is factual
information about drugs. And this information is usually followed by stories of bad things
that happened to people who used these substances, and they also typically include training that aims at boosting
children’s self-esteem with the goal of helping
them resist peer pressure that might lead them
to use drugs later on. A lot of time and money has been spent implementing these programs, and they certainly have good intentions, but over 20 years of
evaluation into these programs have shown that these
programs are not effective. Individuals who participate
in these programs are just as likely to use substances as those who do not participate. In fact, some studies have shown that these programs might
actually be counterproductive. That sometimes there’s
actually a higher rate of substance abuse among individuals who participate in these programs. And if there is any effectiveness, that effectiveness is very limited, and it only works for a short period after the intervention. It doesn’t usually have an
effect in the long-term. And I’ve mentioned all three
possible conclusions here, and I don’t mean to confuse you. So just to be clear, while there are some studies that show increased or decreased drug use in individuals who
participate in these programs, a vast majority of them
show no difference. And so now you might be wondering, why in the world these very
well-intentioned programs have such a high failure rate. One reason might be that these programs are targeting kids who are just too young to really understand these messages. And there are a large
number of these programs that focus on kids before they
reach their teenage years. Maybe it’s really easy for them to say that they will say no to drugs before they can really
understand the pressures and social implications that
can surround that decision. But at the same time, there are also programs
that focus on individuals in their teenage years, and it’s possible that
teens might be too old for these messages. Maybe kids in this age
range have already learned about substance use from their peers, and so they can’t be
inoculated against drug use. And as you might have noticed, these two things kind of
contradict each other, so what really might be
driving this is content. It might be the case that information that works well with younger kids doesn’t work for older
ones, and vice versa. There are probably some
messages that we can give teens that would be meaningless to
elementary school students. And so the key here might be finding the right
balance of information. And maybe these programs
don’t have that balance figured out yet. And this reminds me of another point that I wanted to bring up about content. And that’s that programs
that rely on scare tactics are generally ineffective. And we don’t totally
understand why this is. It might be that even though
kids and teens and preteens understand the messages of these programs, they may not think that the
consequences apply to them. And so while they might be
receptive to scare tactics in the short-term, it isn’t going to affect their
long-term decision-making. What about programs that
just provide the facts about drug use and leave
out any scare tactics or moralistic messages? Well it turns out that unfortunately, these programs aren’t effective either. What about programs
that boost self-esteem, programs that have students take an oath that say that they’re
gonna say no to drugs? As you might have guessed
from following this pattern, these programs don’t seem to
influence drug use either. What about those studies
that actually showed an increase in drug use? The studies that show that
participants in these programs use substances more than non-participants. In this case it’s possible
that participating in these programs might lead students to
think that substance use is actually more popular
than it really is. And by accidentally
transmitting this message, it might actually make these students more likely to use drugs. It’s also possible that by
telling students about drugs, by making them aware of them and by giving them general
knowledge about them, it might lead them to be more curious about some of the drugs
that they learn about. So we’ve talked a whole lot
about things that don’t work, and now I want to shift gears for a bit and talk about some things that do. Programs that use peers
or older adolescents to teach drug prevention programs might be mildly more effective than programs that use adults. Although I will say that
this is not supported by all studies. Because in general it’s
less about who teaches and more about what is taught. Programs that focus on
developing social skills more broadly as well as teaching things like self-control and stress management have had some success. And that doesn’t mean that programs shouldn’t include factual
information about substances or include messages about
self-esteem and peer pressure. It just means that these
things should be presented alongside other content. And I know that there
tends to be a lot of focus on in-school programming
about drug prevention, but it turns out that there
are also some social factors that can decrease drug use. Things completely outside of typical drug prevention programming. And so I want to take a
minute to talk about families and the way that the family structure can influence drug use. And I know that teenage viewers aren’t going to like this at all, so I apologize in advance, but some studies have
shown that when parents are involved in their
children’s social lives, when they know their friends
and monitor their activities and know their whereabouts, this seems to decrease drug use. Thankfully there are also
a number of other things that families can do that don’t involve being involved in their children’s business. One is making sure that the family has a close bond, making sure that family
members are supportive of one another, and making sure that the home
is a nurturing environment. Parents can also have clear
and consistent expectations about not only drug use and alcohol use but also for things like
schoolwork and chores. It might be helpful to
make sure that the child feels like they are
really part of the family and not just being controlled by it. So letting kids be involved
in family decision-making, even for very small decisions, could have a strong influence. Before I go on and talk
about anything else, I want to point out that
most of the research that has been done in this
area is correlational. We’re not actually able to
determine cause and effect. So it might be that being
supportive of children leads them to use fewer substances, or it could be that children
who do not use substances naturally feel more
supported by their parents. Or there could be a third variable. Maybe doing well in school leads students to feel more supported by their parents, but also leads them to
use fewer substances. And because these studies don’t give us a clear understanding
about directionality, it means that we can’t
draw any firm conclusions. But even with all of these problems, these studies are still important. For one thing, there have been a number
of experimental studies that support this, studies that do show cause and effect. Also, keep in mind that
some of these things just don’t lend themselves
to experimental studies. We can’t just take a bunch of children and put half of them in a nurturing home and half of them in a not nurturing home and see what happens. I’m sure you would agree that
that would not be ethical. And so even though correlational
studies on this topic might not be perfect, they’re still informative. But it isn’t just parents
that can have a role in reducing drug use, the whole community can
play a role as well. Some studies have shown that children who have supportive relationships outside of their immediate family tend to use fewer substances. Teachers, neighbors, religious figures can all play an important role. Also having things like access
to healthcare and childcare and family programming and
drug-free recreational options, all of these things either correlate with decreased drug use or have been shown to do so experimentally with targeted family and
community interventions. And this implies that schools
can play an important role outside of providing specific
drug prevention programming. They can also offer
extracurricular programming, and sponsor social events. Basically they can
serve the important role of giving children, teens, and preteens things to do that don’t
involve using substances. But these things don’t
affect all children equally. It seems that having a
supportive community and family seem to be more important
for younger children, while school and peer groups tend to be more important
for older adolescents. So to summarize everything
that we’ve been talking about in this video, there is no magic bullet that can prevent individuals from using
and abusing substances. We don’t currently have the ability to sit children down in a
room for a few sessions, and expect them to be able to change their long-term views. That said, there has
been a lot of research looking into new drug
prevention strategies, and it’s very possible that
we’ll have more effective programming in the future. But focusing only on
this type of programming doesn’t give us the whole picture because family and community
can have a huge influence. Having a strong and nurturing
family, school, and community seems to act as an
important protective factor against drug use and abuse.


  1. B Miller
    B Miller October 13, 2016

    Thanks for waisting my time, your facts are not good, where are your sources? Bash but no answers, waist of time!

  2. Amy Asher
    Amy Asher January 30, 2018

    As a Drug and alcohol prevention coordinator I very much respect this video. I look forward to using it out local school staff.

  3. Sobhana Mohan
    Sobhana Mohan August 31, 2018

    it is very useful to students

  4. Nothing More
    Nothing More September 6, 2018

    Hi mga potangina nyo

  5. Elysse PPI
    Elysse PPI November 2, 2018

    Lumping together all prevention programs in the same bucket as D.A.R.E. and "Just Say No" is irresponsible, misleading, incorrect and unethical. Correlational effects are the basis of public health, yet the speaker claims that only causal effects are valid. Genetic predisposition isn't even mentioned. I'm disappointed that Khan Academy, which is a brand that my school and my kids trust, would publish something so sloppy.

  6. zenegg99
    zenegg99 November 25, 2018

    How can you refer to "studies" so many times in a video and not once mention an author or the name of a paper? Not even a bibliography to be found… Makes it just an opinion piece

  7. bhardwaj technical
    bhardwaj technical May 13, 2019

    really u wastes my time ! that's not a perfect answer

  8. bhardwaj technical
    bhardwaj technical May 13, 2019

    actual mein aap ko smjana nai aata ache se

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