Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

Effectiveness; A Thought And A Question

A thought; in our recent survey of the field only just over half of the respondents felt able to say that the drug education they know is based on the latest available evidence.

If the government are going to continue to say:

It is for schools and local authorities to decide whether to use particular resources or programmes of study to support the overall drug education programme in their schools.

Wouldn’t it be good if we had something similar to the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices so that schools might have a chance to know what is effective?

But even that may not be quite enough if this research from the United States is anything to go by:

We found that 42.6% of the nation’s schools with middle school grades were using an evidence-based curriculum, an increase of 8% from our 1999 estimate. The two most prevalent curricula in use, at 19% each, were Life Skills Training and Project ALERT. We note, however, that only 8% of Life Skills Training users and 9% of Project ALERT users reported using those curricula the most, and that only 23% of respondents overall reported that they used an evidence-based curriculum the most. More information is needed as to why over three-quarters of the nation’s schools with middle school grades continue to administer curricula that have not been identified as effective.

Which leads me to a question.  It seems to me that with the positive response there has been to the Advisory Group on Drug and Alcohol Education there is going to be a period of change where those of us with an interest in drug education might have a chance to help raise the issues of effectiveness and quality.

How would you get those developing or commissioning drug education in schools to ensure they were using effective progammes?

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Filed under: drug education, research, USA,

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