Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

The Juvenile and Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Program: An Evaluation

Academic journal article The International Journal of Behavioral Consultation and Therapy

The Juvenile and Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Program: An Evaluation

Article excerpt

Today, statistics indicate a sudden increase in drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs in the school systems of the United States. This increase in drug prevention programs has been triggered by the increase in drug and alcohol use by adolescents between the ages of 12-17 years of age. According to the Youth Risk Behaviors Survey (YRBS), from the years 1991 to 1999, lifetime marijuana and cocaine use increased each year by a mode of [+ or -] 2.5% among American students in the 9th to 12th grades. Between the years 1999 to 2005, the lifetime use of both drugs decreased, but the decrease of current cocaine use (use within the 30 days prior to the survey) did not begin until 2001. Illegal steroid use increased among this same age group during the years of 1991 to 2003, and a decrease was seen from 2003 to 2005. As the new millennium begins to take shape, the use of illegal drugs has decreased and the question is, is it due to the increase of youth drug and alcohol prevention programs? Several studies have tested the effectiveness of these programs and the Juvenile and Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention (JASAP) program of Atlanta, Georgia is one of these effective programs.

Belgrave, Reed, Plybon, and Corneille (2004) used the Specific Event Drug and Alcohol Refusal Efficacy Scale (SEDARE) to measure the effectiveness of a drug abuse prevention program for urban African American girls. The SEDARE was used to show the probability of drug use among these girls in certain situations. The situations in which the girls viewed themselves as being able to refuse drugs and alcohol varied; but of the 92 girls that participated, the girls in the intervention group had a higher drug and alcohol refusal rate as measured by the SEDARE than the girls in the control group. According to the study, 67% of the intervention group stated that they could refuse drugs and alcohol as opposed to the 33% of the comparison group who stated that they could refuse drugs and alcohol in the same situation. Most of the situations that were measured by the SEDARE were associated with peer relationships.

With Project KICK (Kids In Cooperation with Kids) Rollins, Rubin, and Wright (1999) used the community partnership, drug education, parent involvement, and peer counseling to evaluate the effectiveness of this program versus the programs that are only taught in the schools. Elementary school students from a mid sized southeastern city in Florida were the actual participants, and seventh graders served as the peer mentors to two classrooms of third graders. The Curriculum used for project KICK is composed of nine units that the students will master upon completion. The Questionnaire used by Rollins et al(1999) measured attitudes related to substance abuse, teenage pregnancy prevention, school attitudes, aggressive behavior, and stress reduction. The purpose of this program was to not only provide substance abuse prevention and education, but also to create a support base within the community where the pressure to try alcohol and drugs is lessened.

In 1993, Ellickson, Bell, and McGuigan did a longitudinal study over six years that achieved reduced drug use during the years of junior high school. The curriculum used consisted of eleven lessons and was tested in 30 schools in eight highly diversified communities on the west coast. The curriculum focused on providing the 7th and 8th grade students the skills needed to resist drug and alcohol use. Throughout the program, approximately 4000 7th grade students were assessed six times (once every year) after the program was completed until grade 12. The results of this particular program were that as soon as the program was completed, the effects on drug use ended. Ellickson et al. (1993) found that the cognitive risk factors continued until the 10th grade for most of the students, but over all found that it is doubtful that early prevention is effective without some form of continued prevention efforts during high school. …

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