Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

School Based Smoking Prevention: Popular Peers Can Help

Drug and Alcohol Findings has this interesting looking study:

A UK study successfully harnessed respected peers to prevent smoking, but not through classroom activities. Instead the 12-13-year-olds simply exerted their influence in normal social interactions with same-age school mates.

The results suggest that in the schools that took part a fifth fewer pupils had smoked in the last week. As you might expect the impact did fade over time, and was much more successful in small communities than in towns and cities where there doesn’t seem to have been a statistically significant impact.

In terms of practice the article argues:

It does have the great advantage of not occupying classroom teaching time, always in short supply. This means such initiatives can (as in the study) supplement rather than displace classroom drug education and leave this (as some teachers argue should be the case) to focus on education rather than prevention, but at the cost of funding external staff and venues. Such work could however be incorporated within existing youth work projects, reducing the costs, and usefully placing these projects in contact with the most influential youngsters in their areas.

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Filed under: peer education, tobacco

Peer drug education: the way forward?

I’ve just come across an abstract of an old paper in Health Education:

The development of drug education for young people in the UK has been the subject of various policy statements in recent years. With the publication of the Government White Papers research has drawn attention to the potential benefits of peer education as a method of drug prevention due mainly to the credibility of young people with their peers. This credibility might be based on age alone, or may also involve credibility stemming from the young person’s own drug use, past or present. This paper discusses issues relating to the effectiveness of peer drug education with particular reference to two evaluations carried out recently in South West England; brings together the most recent literature on peer education; and considers the appropriateness of different approaches in schools and youth work settings. This paper contributes significantly to the debate on the use of peer education as a health education approach.

I bring it to your attention, I suppose, to remind ourselves that there is an evidence base on which we can build.

Filed under: peer education

Peer education: from evidence to practice

The Australian National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction have produced research on the evidence for peer education delivering drug and alcohol education and some guidance on putting schemes into practice.

The full document (205 pages) can be found here.

Filed under: drug education, peer education

About this blog

This blog tries to pick up relevant media and research stories about drug education. It mainly focuses on information in England as this is the geographical remit for the Drug Education Forum. We welcome comments that are on topic.

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