Positive Action Reduces Problem Behavior by Half

Article excerpt

An effort to cut down substance abuse, violence and early sexual activity in young people is proving to be successful, according to a recent press release. Positive Action (PA) is a program supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) that focuses on enhancing social behavior and academic achievement, and consists of daily 15-20 minute classes. These classes are on topics such as responsible self-management, getting along with peers and self-improvement. Lessons are designed to begin in first grade and continue through senior year.

NIDA Director Nora Volkow feels the study conducted on Positive Action "provides compelling evidence that intervening with young children is a promising approach to preventing drug use and other problem behaviors." Twenty public elementary schools in Hawaii were chosen to implement PA, all of which had below-average test scores and diverse student populations. In fifth grade, 976 students were asked to participate in a survey with specific questions about their use of substances like tobacoo, alcohol, and illicit drugs; violent activities, like carrying a weapon or threatening people; and sexual behavior. …