Resource & Discussion Guide
SECTION II - PREVENTION
(Cue VHS to begin at 14:33 or DVD at Chapter 2. This section begins with the ringing of a school bell and ends with comments pertaining to how dealing drugs is big business and very lucrative. Video length: 12:20)
With a few possible exceptions, every student in Utah has been exposed to drug prevention programs since kindergarten. These programs have taught the risks and dangers associated with tobacco, alcohol and drugs. While these prevention programs have their merit, they do not work for all students.
Prevention programs only begin to counter the real education kids get on the street from their peers and popular culture. Students should discuss and examine the power of the media and how it can reinforce a child’s impression that drug use is a normal part of growing up.
- Impact of the Media. Discuss the impact of the media, in terms of pro-use messages -- both subtle and overt -- as they relate to alcohol, tobacco and drug usage. As a society, have we become desensitized to the messages? In what fashion do the media tend to glamorize substance usage? If it were possible, would censoring the pro-use messages help with drug prevention efforts?
- Drug Prevention Programs. Discuss various drug prevention programs the students may have encountered over the years. Discuss the impact they may or may not have. Do they work? Do students internalize the messages?
- For lessons from Prevention Research visit:http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofax/lessons.html
- Gather several different types of print publications (magazines, comic books, newspapers, and inserts from CDs) ask students to list the references to drugs, tobacco, prescription and over-the-counter medications and alcohol. Discuss the various advertising techniques, such as sex appeal, having fun, mockery, comparison or personal testimony.
- Ask the students to watch television for 30 minutes and record the number of references made to drugs, tobacco or alcohol during the commercial breaks or during the program.
- By working in groups, ask the students to design a drug, alcohol and tobacco prevention advertising campaign that they think would work. This should include suggestions of possible visual media, activities and printed material.
- The following Internet site, GET IT STRAIGHT, contains an interactive drug prevention workbook compiled by students as part of a classroom assignment. Their assignment was to find out as much as they could about drugs that are commonly abused. http://www.usdoj.gov/dea/pubs/straight/cover.htm
- Partnership for a Drug Free America is loaded with useful information, descriptions of various substances, personal stories from teenagers and resources for help. http://drugfree.org
This Resource & Study Guide is also available as a PDF document suitable for printing. In addition, there is a supplemental document, Drug Definitions & Symptoms (print).