School-based drug prevention programs: a review of what works

Soole, David, Mazerolle, Lorraine, & Rombouts, Sacha (2008) School-based drug prevention programs: a review of what works. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 41(2), pp. 259-286.

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This article examines the effectiveness of school-based drug prevention programs in preventing illicit drug use. Our article reports the results of a systematic review of the evaluation literature to answer three fundamental questions: (1) do school-based drug prevention programs reduce rates of illicit drug use? (2) what features are characteristic of effective programs? and (3) do these effective program characteristics differ from those identified as effective in reviews of school-based drug prevention of licit substance use (such as alcohol and tobacco)? Using systematic review and meta-analytic techniques, we identify the characteristics of schoolbased drug prevention programs that have a significant and beneficial impact on ameliorating illicit substance use (i.e., narcotics) among young people. Successful intervention programs typically involve high levels of interactivity, time-intensity, and universal approaches that are delivered in the middle school years. These program characteristics aligned with many of the effective program elements found in previous reviews exploring the impact of school-based drug prevention on licit drug use. Contrary to these past reviews, however, our analysis suggests that the inclusion of booster sessions and multifaceted drug prevention programs have little impact on preventing illicit drug use among school-aged children. Limitations of the current review and policy implications are discussed.

Impact and interest:

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25 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 44264
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Drug Prevention, Meta-analysis, Illicit Drug Use
DOI: 10.1375/acri.41.2.259
ISSN: 0004-8658
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Causes and Prevention of Crime (160201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 Sage Publications Ltd.
Deposited On: 24 Aug 2011 22:09
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:55

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