Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Community Engagement in Drug Issues

I think we understand that the role of communities in supporting local drug strategies is important, but what that looks like is perhaps less well developed.  Blueprint had a stab at it, but not without problems:

The lack of clarity regarding the objectives, content and method of the Community Component makes it difficult to comment on the extent to which it was delivered as planned. 

In the USA they seem to be having a bit more success in pinning things down.  Via Pushing Back I see that there’s an interim evaluation of their Drug Free Communities programme

For anyone not familiar with the programme the website says:

The Drug Free Communities (DFC) program provides grants to community organizations that serve as catalysts for citizen participation in local drug prevention efforts. Coalitions are comprised of diverse groups of people, including community leaders, parents, youth, teachers, religious and fraternal organizations, health care and business professionals, law enforcement, and the media.

The research is to find out what impact the programme has had on young people’s use of alcohol, tobacco and cannabis, and the headline is:

The results of the analysis show that Past 30‐Day use rates among youth (in grades 9‐12) in DFC communities were significantly lower than National YRBS [Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System] rates when compared to the same grade levels and for all three substances.

What strikes me reading the document is the long term investment in the programme even when a periods it must have looked to policy makers that it wasn’t having the desired impact.

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Filed under: research, USA

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