Effectiveness of drug abuse prevention program focusing on social influences among high school students: 15-month follow-up study
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To examine the effectiveness of a drug abuse prevention program focusing on social influences for drug education classes in high school.
The social influence program in the experimental group used role-playing led by a pharmacist, a police officer and a teacher. The intervention evaluation used a quasi-experimental design. The subjects were first-year students from 10 high schools assigned to the experimental group (6 schools, 828 students) and the control group (4 schools, 408 students). In the control group, a pharmacist used a conventional information program in a lecture format.
Regarding knowledge about drug abuse, in both the experimental and control groups, and for both males and females, a long-term effect was observed immediately after the program and lasted up to 15 months. For three other measures, attitudes toward drug abuse problem, self-efficacy regarding drug abuse prevention, and perception of social support for preventing drug abuse, a short-term effect was generally observed in the experimental group beginning immediately after the program and lasting for 3 months. A long-term effect was evident in high-risk students with positive opinions regarding drugs. In the control group and for both males and females, although an effect was generally evident immediately after the program, neither a short-nor a long-term effect was observed in males, suggesting the difficulty in achieving lasting effects.
The social influence program in the experimental group showed remarkable effectiveness. Thus, the program may be useful for preventing drug abuse among high school students in Japan.
Key wordsdrug abuse prevention school-based quasi-experimental design social influence program
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