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Drug Education Programs

Drug education programs help to prevent drug abuse and addiction. These types of programs work to educate about the destructive nature of drugs and alcohol as well as inform on how to avoid potentially dangerous situations where drugs or alcohol may be involved. Programs help to provide the skills necessary for recognizing and resisting social pressures to experiment with drugs or alcohol as well as helping to enhance self esteem. Drug education programs develop skills in risk-assessment, decision making and conflict resolution. As you can see, these types of programs are invaluable and beneficial for the individual participating. This is not only because they are a preventive measure against drug abuse but also because they help the individual grow and become a better person. Provided below is information regarding many national drug education programs. Choose to get involved today.

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education ) is a drug education progarm that teaches kids how to recognize and resist the direct and subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs. And since between 70% and 90% of all crime is drug related, it is absolutely vital that we reach the children of America before it is too late.

The D.A.R.E. program is usually introduced to children in the 5th or 6th grade. A specially trained officer comes into your school and teaches the children. D.A.R.E. has launched a new elementary and a new middle school curriculum this year. Part of the reason D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) works so well is because it is a collaborative effort between your police department, your school, parents, and community leaders. D.A.R.E. works because it surrounds children with support and encouragement from all sides.

The Drug-Violence Prevention (DVP) National Programs group administers Title IV, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA) authorized by the Improving America's Schools Act of 1994 and other programs related to developing and maintaining safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools.

Programs authorized under this legislation provide financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities in elementary and secondary schools, and institutions of higher education. Activities may be carried out by State and local educational agencies and by other public and private nonprofit organizations.

Since its inception in 1983, the Elks Drug Awareness Program has worked to prevent drug use by our youth through education. The Elks recognize that they are not experts in the field of drug education. However, they do have the resources -- in dollars, facilities and volunteers -- to work with the experts to ensure that young people know the facts about drugs. In addition to sponsoring seminars, workshops and drug-free functions, they print and distribute literature developed by authorities on drug awareness. Since 1983, they have printed and handed out more than 125 million pieces of literature to students, their teachers and their parents. They hope that through their resource center, we can reach even more people.

Partnership to Release Marijuana Abuse Report

To raise awareness about the effects of drug use on the most vulnerable populations - children and adolescents - as they return to school, Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is partnering with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to release, Practical Theorist 5: Marijuana Abuse: Using Science for an Effective Community Response.

This Practical Theorist, the fifth in a collaborative series, includes research on drug abuse in a concise, convenient format and offers strategies on how to use the data to mobilize communities, affect policy, and support local anti-drug coalition efforts to build drug-free communities.

"One of our top priorities is to rapidly and effectively disseminate our scientific findings to local experts and volunteers to assist them with community prevention and treatment efforts," says NIDA Director, Nora D. Volkow, M.D.

CADCA Chairman and CEO Gen. Arthur T. Dean emphasized the importance of this information sharing. "It is critical that we educate community leaders, parents, and young people about the harmful effects of drugs. This version of the Practical Theorist and the previous editions are an important part of our education and outreach efforts."

The first section in the Practical Theorist 5, "The Scope of the Marijuana Problem Today," provides the most recent statistics about marijuana use. Information includes the role that marijuana plays as a contributing factor in hospital emergency room visits and the number of arrestees in the criminal justice system who tested positive for marijuana.

The second section includes the latest research on marijuana and its effects on the brain, with findings such as: "Within minutes of inhaling marijuana smoke, there is an increase in heart rate - the heart may start pumping 20 to 50 beats per minute faster than normal." Other topics include the addictive nature of marijuana, the damage to short-term memory it causes, and its connection to mental illness. It also outlines the effects of marijuana use on an individual's school, work, and social life.

The final section highlights what communities can do to address the growing problem of marijuana use, such as educating youth; ensuring marijuana concerns aren't pushed aside by other drugs; educating the community; supporting drug abuse treatment; and encouraging parents to maintain an active role in their children's lives.

The Practical Theorist series is designed to help local community groups by providing the latest science-based information in easy-to-understand language so they can educate their members and the public about drug abuse.

UA Drug Education Program Named To A National Registry Of Effective Programs

Keep a Clear Mind, a model drug abuse prevention program developed at the University of Arkansas, has been named to the National Registry of Effective Programs, a resource for schools and communities seeking proven methods to educate children and parents about substance abuse.

After a thorough review of more than 400 programs, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) selected Keep a Clear Mind as one of only 19 model programs to be named to the National Registry of Effective Programs.

Keeping a Clear Mind was developed by the UA's Health Education Projects Office under the direction of Dr. Michael Young, who has been a professor in the department of health science, kinesiology, recreation and dance in the College of Education and Health Professions for more than 20 years.

To be added to the registry, the program underwent a comprehensive review to determine whether it had been implemented under scientifically rigorous conditions and whether it has consistently demonstrated beneficial results.

"The College of Education and Health Professions is proud of the achievements of Dr. Young and the Health Projects Office," Interim dean Sharon Hunt said. "Being named to the national registry simply means that more schools and communities will be able to benefit from his excellent programs. His work has been honored frequently in the past. Once again, he has placed the University of Arkansas in the forefront of substance abuse prevention education in the United States."

Keep a Clear Mind is a take-home drug education program for fourth graders and their parents. The program also provides parent newsletters and student incentives. Two randomized community trials showed that Keep a Clear Mind can improve parent-child communication and increase the understanding of fourth through sixth graders about how to refuse and avoid drug use. The involvement of parents encourages open communication and is crucial to the success of the program.

The program was developed in the late 1980s by Young and his colleague Chudley Werch, a former UA faculty member. It was originally funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and later by the Nancy Reagan Foundation. The program includes lessons that deal specifically with alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana and offers tools young people can use to "say no" to drugs.

CSAP named Keep a Clear Mind a model program in spring 2000. Rigorous evaluation showed that Keep a Clear Mind had a positive impact on recognized risk factors for later drug abuse. In addition to increasing parent-child communication, the participants in the program changed their perceptions of their peers' drug-related attitudes and behaviors, gained confidence in their ability to resist peer pressure and understood more about the harmful effects of drugs.

CSAP is a component of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the lead federal agency for improving the quality and availability of substance abuse prevention, addiction treatment and mental health services.