Drug Abuse and Prevention

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Our society’s idea of prevention is to limit the availability of drugs (Hart & Ksir, 2011, p. 400), but this is not essentially the best way. Addiction affects everyone. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), substance abuse cost our nation “more than $484 billion dollars (The National Institute on Drug Abuse ).” So although you might not be directly impacted by drug abuse, as a whole your tax dollars are spent on fighting the war on drugs. Currently there are several different types of substance prevention; however are they really our best option?

First is primary prevention, which is aimed at mostly young children who have never tried a substance or those who may have tried tobacco or alcohol (Hart & Ksir, 2011, p. 401). Benefits from this type of early intervention include encouraging abstinence, and teaching people the effects of potential drug use on their lives, emotions, and social relationships (Hart & Ksir, 2011, p. 401). There are programs that go to schools, and speak to children as young as 8 about drugs and the effects of drug use.

Secondary prevention is for those who have tried the drug in question or other types of drugs. This is supposed to prevent the use of more dangerous drugs, and also to prevent the use of the substances in a more dangerous way (Hart & Ksir, 2011, p. 401). This prevention is aimed more towards college students, who have tried drugs but have not suffered seriously from their drug use. This is not aimed at people who need obvious treatment (Hart & Ksir, 2011, p. 402). Let us look back on primary prevention. Most students have experienced a program called D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Studies have shown that here is no proof that D.A.R.E. reduced the use of alcohol or drugs; it was found that it is actually 3 counterproductive (Hanson, 2007). The U.S. Department of Education prohibits schools from...
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