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Preventing Drug Use Among Teens Essay

Pages:5 (1380 words)



Topic:Substance Abuse

Document Type:Essay


Prevention of Substance Abuse among Youth: Seeking to Understand Perspectives


To understand an effective way to prevent substance abuse among youth, it is important to explore the perspectives of stakeholders and individuals who play a role in applying preventive strategies. For that reason, this study uses qualitative design to explore the perspectives of high school teachers toward successful teen substance abuse prevention program. This paper discusses the background of the problem, provides a problem statement, purpose statement, and research question, and reviews literature pertaining to theory, research and methodology. An annotated bibliography is included at the end.

Background to the Problem

As Murthy (2016) points out, there is a serious need to address the opioid epidemic that is scourging the nation today. Youths are among the most vulnerable population when it comes to substance abuse because they are most likely to be affected by peer pressure and media, where drug usage is most often displayed in not unfavorable lights (Bandura, 2018). There is clearly a preeminent need to address this issue as the epidemic is only worsening as teens turn to synthetic substances that they obtain on the streets (Murthy, 2016).

Problem Statement

To address the problem of preventing substance abuse among teens, it is necessary to know what strategies and interventions work best. However, it is generally unknown what teachers’ perspectives are with respect to implementing effective and successful teen substance abuse prevention programs (Hicham et al., 2018). Thus, there is a need to understand this important stakeholder population’s perspective in order to address the issue before the epidemic of drug abuse takes an even greater toll on the nation’s youth.

Purpose Statement

The purpose of this qualitative study is to interview teachers who have some experience with substance abuse prevention programs for teens. The aim is to obtain information about what they believe to be effective and ineffective strategies. By interviewing these teachers, a deeper understanding of what teachers believe to be impactful can be obtained and then can be applied in the development of a new prevention program to be used to address the problem.

Research Question

The research question for this qualitative study is: What are the perspectives of high school teachers toward successful teen substance abuse prevention programs?

Literature Review


The study by Hicham et al. (2018) focused on multilevel prevention initiatives among youth in their teenage years, and how stakeholders ought to take care of influencing factors from a specific adolescent to the society at a large. The recommended approach includes the societal values together with the government’s plans towards managing negative substance use. The article also promoted the idea that public health education programs should be added as part and parcel of the national curriculum, which can encourage awareness among the adolescents and thereby greatly bring down behavior degradation in Moroccan adolescent. The next step for learning about this subject is to hear directly from teachers themselves, which is what this study aims to allow to happen through interviews.


The study by Das, Salam, Arshad, Finkelstein and Bhutta (2016) shows that school-based interventions, family-based interventions and mass media based interventions can all be effective in lowering the rates of unhealthy behaviors among teens. The researchers conducted a systematic review to obtain these findings. The gap the study noted still needs to be closed is one regarding specific intervention components—such as delivery platforms (digital vs. non-digital, social media vs. traditional media and so on). This study will seek to close this gap by asking teachers about their perspectives on delivery platforms.


In the article by Paglin and Room (1999), the authors look at existing prevention programs designed to address the issue of substance use among teens. The authors first identify the trends and patterns found among the various literature available on these programs. They found evidence of prevention based on Education and Persuasion techniques, Community-Based approaches, Legal Practices, and a focus on Harm Reduction approach. The authors suggest that a multi-prong approach is more likely to be successful than a one-method approach prevention…

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…(digital vs. non-digital, social media vs. traditional media and so on). This needs to be addressed because now that the digital age is here, stakeholders can benefit from understanding whether it makes a different to teens if an intervention is staged using social media or traditional media, as it could make a significant different in the extent of the impact on the population.

Hicham El Kazdouh, Abdelghaffar El-Ammari, Siham Bouftini, Samira El Fakir, &

Youness El Achhab. (2018). Adolescents, parents and teachers’ perceptions of risk and protective factors of substance use in Moroccan adolescents: a qualitative study. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and youthsPolicy, (1), 1.

This study looks at the relationship between established social norms and government policy in terms of how substance use in a specific population is addressed. When social norms and government policy are in alignment, it is theorized that there will be less usage of substances that are harmful to health. What the researchers found by conducting focus group discussions using a qualitative design was that when health education programs are used in school curriculum it is more likely that students will not engage in risky behaviors.

The researchers held 17 focus groups with 3 groups. One group consisted of students. One group consisted of parents. And one group consisted of teachers. All three groups contributed to the study’s helpfulness.

Paglin, A. & Room, R., (1999). Preventing substance use problems among youth a

literature review and recommendation. Journal of Primary Prevention, 20, 3-50.

This study examined existing prevention programs that had been developed to address the issue of substance use among teens. The authors identified the trends and patterns found among the various programs and discussed them. They noted in particular that intervention programs tended to focus on Education and Persuasion techniques, Community-Based approaches, Legal Practices, and on Harm Reduction approaches. The authors suggested that a multi-prong approach would be most likely to be successful and that a one-method approach prevention program would be least effective.

They showed that a program should combine features,…

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