Importance of Drug Abuse Interventions

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 7
Words: 2022
Reading time:
8 min
Study level: College

Introduction

Schools globally have faced many issues from teen pregnancies, HIV and AIDS, substance abuse and violence, among other issues. These unhealthy behaviors have resulted in adulthood disorders among students and have generally affected the students’ health. Substance abuse is one of the risky behaviors that students usually engage in. Substance abuse includes risky activities such as smoking, alcohol abuse and also use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and abuse of some prescription drugs such as codeine and opioids (Feng, Zhang & Li, 2018). The abuse of these substances has been determined to directly correlate morbidity and mortality, thus posing a public health challenge.

In only 3 hours we’ll deliver a custom Importance of Drug Abuse Interventions essay written 100% from scratch Learn more

Issues such as unemployment, poor health among students, suicide, depression and reduced life expectancy can be directly correlated to drug abuse as a contributing factor. The menace affects not only students but also its impacts stretches to teachers who interact with the students, the societies, families of the affected students and communities since substance abuse is cumulative. Substance abuse is usually costly to society and contributes to the users’ deteriorated physical and mental health (Forste et al., 2018). Some of the factors that have contributed to substance abuse among the students include the socioeconomic status of an individual, peer pressure among students, and the quality of parenting.

Tobacco use is one of the leading causes of premature, preventable deaths worldwide. Most smokers initiate smoking at adolescence and progressively grow with habit to adulthood. In general, the smoking of cigarettes is always highest in Europe and the western pacific regions. According to the World Health Organization, about 4% of the global burden of diseases is alcohol consumption. The rate of alcohol consumption among youths and adolescents increases daily worldwide (Alam et al., 2019). Currently, it is reported that Europe and the North American regions are reporting the highest rate of alcohol abuse among youth and adolescents. Based on the data by WHO, men drink more than their female counterparts, but this gap is very smaller at a younger age. The use of cannabis has also been associated with a decrease in the intelligence quotient score of an individual before reaching the age of 18 and exposure to risks that might cause injury in youths and adolescents.

There is a need for concerted efforts to help identify awareness programs within society and routinely monitor substance abuse data. Having identified and acknowledged the prevailing burden and impact of substance abuse in youths and students, we must develop interventions and delivery platforms to enhance our students’ basic social skills, problem-solving skills, and self-confidence (Schulenberg et al., 2019). The interventions developed need to be implemented to help curb the spread of the problem. Some of the interventions which are already available which can help to control substance abuse include the standardized screening tools for identifying adolescents who are at high risks, alcoholism publications and school-based surveys to monitor the spread of substance abuse-related behaviors among students.

Current Interventions

To control and prevent the use of illicit drugs, various governmental and non-governmental agencies have come up with various interventions that have been in use to help control the spread of substance abuse among students. Some of the interventions identified in this paper were selected based on their potential effectiveness to help improve the students’ health and help them seek primary healthcare. The intervention’s main targets were to reduce the risk factors associated with the substance, such as risky sexual behaviors, teen and unplanned pregnancies, violence among students, and risky driving (Krist et al., 2020). Some other risks students abusing drugs are exposed to include undernutrition, obesity, infection and depression.

Various interventions developed to lessen these risks include immunization intervention, nutrition intervention, reproductive health intervention, mental health interventions, and substance abuse injury-related interventions. Various research indicates that most countries use these interventions to yield direct and immediate results. Some of the benefits of these interventions currently employed include improved access to reproductive health, improved access to mental health, and drug abuse services (Zhao et al., 2019). These are achieved by sharing information about sexually transmitted infections, providing advisory services about nutrition, and counseling to help prevent suicidal thoughts and depression. The outcome of these interventions can be broadly felt by the individual, their families, community, and society.

Intervention Design

To help end substance abuse among the student, we aimed at coming up with interventions focusing on the specific substance being abused by the students. These interventions target smoking of cannabis and tobacco, alcohol abuse, other drug abuse, and combined substance abuse, which is very common in learning institutions. For the design of this intervention, the following steps were followed: the process begins by the definition of the scope, which entails the consideration of the audience intended by the interventions and the engagement levels with evaluation options.

Academic experts
available
We will write a custom Sociology essay specifically for you for only $16.00 $11/page Learn more

The second step involved in the intervention’s design process is reviewing the evidence to obtain research to inform the intervention design. The other stage of the process is the actual process of designing the intervention. The intervention is selected among the pool at this design point (Chandler et al., 2016). Thus, the materials and activities of the intervention are developed, and the final stage refers to the process of refining and finalizing the intervention. At this point, the intervention is pilot tested before the implementation stage.

Phases in the Development of Interventions 
Figure showing Phases in the Development of Interventions 

School-Based Drug Abuse Intervention

Setting Intervention component Timing Determinants Learning objective
Class Drug-free curriculum Two times a week per term Knowledge
  • Increase awareness of long and short-term effects of smoking
  • Reduce the majority of misunderstanding
  • Increase awareness of drug abuse inducing mechanisms in the society
Self-efficacy
  • Increase student’s resistibility to the temptation to abuse drugs
Perceived norms and attitudes
  • Increase identification with non-drug abusers
  • Promote drug-free Environment
Home/ parent Drug-free contracts It starts at the time students resume the new term Parental attitude
  • Create a supportive, drug-free environment at home
  • Signal opposition to student drug abuse
Availability
  • Reduce the availability of alcohol and other drugs at home
Perceived norms and attitudes
  • Increase identification with non-abuser of drugs
  • Contribute to creating a drug-free Environment
School Drug-free school Throughout the study Exposure
  • Remove all the exposure to drugs
Perceived norms and attitudes
  • Increase identification with non-abuser of drugs
  • Contribute to creating a drug-free Environment

Components of the Intervention

Drug-free Environment

According to the Danish legislation against smoking on school premises before august 2012, students and teachers were not allowed to smoke within the school environment within the school hours or time. This legislation, however, had some exceptions where a specific room was created for the teacher to smoke. It was an indoor place located several distances away from the students. According to a study by the relationship between a teacher smoking within the school environment and during school hours and student smoking behavior have a close tie with the Danish study indicating that students smocking were likely to be influenced by a teacher smocking in school premises and the United States a study revealed that higher level of perceived enforcement of anti-smoking policy was not inversely related to the prevalence of a month smoking habit of the students (Andersen et al., 2014). Based on these observations from various research, the interventions were developed to require a smoke-free environment within the learning institution indoors or outdoors. This requirement will need both the students and teachers to comply, and individual schools will enforce the strategy within their premises.

Parental/Guardian Involvement

Norwegian and Swedish governments have successfully implemented smoke-free contacts between students and parents. According to a Swedish study, this intervention has been successfully executed separately and has shown its ability to reduce tobacco use by 50% (Andersen et al., 2014). By signing smoke-free contracts, the students promise to stay away from drugs for the next year. By signing the contracts, the students indicate a manifestation active choice to stay drug-free. The contracts in the Swedish setting and Norwegian setting are also cosigned by the student’s parent or guardian.

By signing the contract, the parent and the student agree to have an open discussion and also, the parent agrees to support the student’s choice to stay drug-free. By agreeing to an open and honest discussion with the student, the parent asks the child about their thoughts and experiences with drugs. This kind of discussion has been approved by various research to be very constructive. The parents are encouraged to support their children in making personal choices, which motivates them by engaging them in making this decision. They are discouraged from engaging in risky activities such as drug abuse.

Drug-Free Curriculum

Much evidence concludes that fusion of the information-giving curriculum with other school programs has proved to be very successful in delivering a drug-free Environment in the learning institutions. Some of the programs where drug-free curricula can be fused include those whose approaches target influencing students’ social life and correcting adolescents’ perspectives (Andersen et al., 2014). The program designed includes subjects taught by a teacher with two lessons per week for a term for the entire period students will be in school. The teacher will be responsible for choosing the method of delivering the subject by choosing the materials and exercises. Developing these curricula involved various scholars within the education sector with good experience in the sector. The curriculum is designed in a manner that it can be used in any subject, for instance, science, humanities and social sciences

Measurement of Effectiveness

The effectiveness of the intervention will be measured through the use of the questionnaire due to the lack of a standardized method for the measurement. Several questionnaires have been developed by the existing survey, which will be sampled and used for effective measurement. Some of the questionnaires available include the European Smoking Prevention Frameworks, Control of Adolescent Smoking, the European Survey Project on Alcohol. After sampling all these resources due to lack of the standard measure, these intervention effectiveness measurement criteria were developed by picking relevant information from these resources and then adding some other important questions in the final questionnaire.

The frequency of substance abuse will be determined by asking the students self-reporting questions, such as how often they smoke at the current state after the implementation. The student’s knowledge about substance abuse will also be determined by asking close-ended questions to determine student knowledge about the curriculum and the topics mentioned in the educational materials. The students will also be further evaluated on their intention to stay drug-free. The parental participation was also measured by asking students to state how often they have substance abuse with their parents.

15% OFF Get your very first custom-written academic paper with 15% off Get discount

Conclusion

The unhealthy behaviors resulting from substance abuse have resulted in adulthood disorders among students and have generally affected the students’ health. Substance abuse is one of the risky behaviors that students usually engage in. Substance abuse includes risky activities such as smoking, alcohol abuse and also use of illegal drugs such as cocaine and abuse of some prescription drugs such as codeine and opioids. The following interventions have been employed to lessen the risks associated with substance abuse: immunization intervention, nutrition intervention, reproductive health intervention, mental health interventions, and substance abuse injury-related interventions. Various research indicates that most countries use these interventions to yield direct and immediate results. Some of the benefits of these interventions currently employed include improved access to reproductive health, improved access to mental health, and drug abuse services.

The design of intervention involves the following steps: the design process begins by defining the scope, which entails the consideration of the audience intended by the interventions and the engagement levels with evaluation options. The second step involved in the intervention’s design process is reviewing the evidence to obtain research to inform the intervention design. The other stage of the process is the actual process of designing the intervention. The intervention is selected among the pool at this point of the design. Thus, the materials and activities of the intervention are developed, and the final stage refers to the process of refining and finalizing the intervention. At this point, the intervention is pilot tested before the implementation stage. After implementation, it must be evaluated to determine its effectiveness for further application or editing.

References

Alam, Samiah, Justin J. Lang, Aaron M. Drucker, Carolyn Gotay, Nicole Kozloff, Kedar Mate, Scott B. Patten, Heather M. Orpana, Ashkan Afshin, and Leah E. Cahill. “Assessment of the burden of diseases and injuries attributable to risk factors in Canada from 1990 to 2016: an analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study.” Canadian Medical Association Open Access Journal 7, no. 1 (2019), E140-E148.

Andersen, Anette, Lotus Sofie Bast, Lene Winther Ringgaard, Louise Wohllebe, Poul Dengsøe Jensen, Maria Svendsen, Peter Dalum, and Pernille Due. Design of a school-based randomized trial to reduce smoking among 13 to 15-year olds, the X: IT study.”BMC Public Health 14, no. 1 (2014),1-15.

Chandler, C.I., Burchett, H., Boyle, L., Achonduh, O., Mbonye, A., DiLiberto, D., Reyburn, H., Onwujekwe, O., Haaland, A., Roca-Feltrer, A. & Baiden, F. (2016). Examining intervention design: lessons from the development of eight related malaria health care intervention studies. Health Systems & Reform, 2(4), 373-388.

Feng, L., Zhang, W., & Li, X. (2018). Monitoring of regional drug abuse through wastewater-based epidemiology—A critical review. Science China Earth Sciences, 61(3), 239-255.

Forster, M., Grigsby, T. J., Rogers, C. J., & Benjamin, S. M. (2018). The relationship between family-based adverse childhood experiences and substance use behaviors among a diverse sample of college students. Addictive behaviors, 76, 298-304.

Get your customised and 100% plagiarism-free paper on any subject done for only $16.00 $11/page Let us help you

Krist, A.H., Davidson, K.W., Mangione, C.M., Barry, M.J., Cabana, M., Caughey, A.B., Curry, S.J., Donahue, K., Doubeni, C.A., Epling, J.W. and Kubik, M. (2020). Screening for unhealthy drug use: US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation statement. Jama, 323(22).2301-2309.

Schulenberg, J., Johnston, L., O’Malley, P., Bachman, J., Miech, R., & Patrick, M. (2019). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975-2018: Volume II, college students and adults ages 19-60.

Zhao, S., Chen, F., Feng, A., Han, W., & Zhang, Y. (2019). Risk factors and prevention strategies for postoperative opioid abuse. Pain Research and Management, 2019.