Drug education is the planned provision of information and skills relevant to living in a world where drugs are commonly misused. Planning includes developing strategies for helping children and young people engage with relevant drug-related issues during opportunistic and brief contacts with them as well as during more structured sessions. Drug education enables children and young adults to develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes to appreciate the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, promote responsibility towards the use of drugs and relate these to their own actions and those of others, both now and in their future lives. It also provides opportunities for young people to reflect on their own and others’ attitudes to drugs, drug usage and drug users.
In Australia, life education begins during primary school. This mobile classroom visits community festivals around Melbourne. In Australia, life education begins during primary school. This mobile classroom visits community festivals around Melbourne.
In Australia, life education begins during primary school. This mobile classroom visits community festivals around Melbourne.
Drug education can be given in numerous forms, some more effective than others. Examples include advertising and awareness raising campaigns such as the UK Government’s FRANK campaign or the US “media campaign”. In addition there are school based drug education programs like DARE or that currently being evaluated by the UK Blueprint Programme.
Drug education can also take less explicit forms; an example of this is the Positive Futures Programme, funded by the UK government as part of its drug strategy. This programme uses sport and the arts as catalysts to engage young people on their own turf, putting them in contact with positive role models (coaches/trained youth workers). After building a trusting relationship with a young person, these role models can gradually change attitudes towards drug use and steer the young person back into education, training and employment. This approach reaches young people who have dropped out of mainstream education. It also has additional benefits for the community in reduced crime and anti-social behaviour.