Sensory-oriented programs.

Many modern programs, especially those that are conducted among young people, contain the so-called emotional component. It involves clarifying values ​​and making decisions. The clarification of values ​​includes self-knowledge, the development of life values ​​and the definition of ways to implement them. These programs reveal to the student a strategy that allows them to make choices in life and apply this technique specifically to situations with alcohol and other drugs. The main objective of the program is that students should be aware of their feelings about drugs and develop their attitude towards them in order to behave in accordance with their individual values ​​in drug-related situations.
The logic of applying an emotional or sensual approach is that thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and values ​​relating to alcohol and other drugs may be as important in a particular situation as knowledge, and may even be the most important. It is still unknown to what extent these programs have a beneficial effect. As in the case of educational programs, no serious research has been done on the effects of such programs. Nevertheless, those studies that were nevertheless carried out showed that the influence of the programs helps to clarify personal views on the use of drugs. Popular in the 1970s and 1980s, these programs are less frequently used today, although some of their elements are incorporated into modern programs in modified form.
Alternative behavior and artwork resist
In recent years, the number of prevention programs that have been focused on developing alternatives to drug use and the ability to recognize and resist pressure forcing them has increased significantly.
The development of alternatives to drug use refers to engaging in various productive activities (for example, sports, various hobby groups, vacations). In theory, this strategy seems reasonable, but in practice it has not shown concrete benefits in relation to substance abuse.
On the other hand, resistance training seems more promising. This training includes a combination of the following informational and behavioral strategies:
Development of the ability to solve problems and make decisions;
Development of the ability to recognize interpersonal and mass (advertising of alcohol and cigarettes) forms of agitation, as well as the ability to resist them;
Increase self-awareness and self-esteem;
Learning the art of coping with anxiety and stress without the use of drugs;
Improving interpersonal qualities, such as the ability to start a conversation;
The development of hardness, ability to express displeasure and anger, as well as the ability to communicate their needs;
Development of an understanding of the effects of drugs on health;Usually in these programs, participants are taught to recognize the social impact that leads to the use of drugs, and also to resist these influences. For example, they are taught to refuse offers to try a drug when it comes from peers. Often programs include the ability to resist the influence of leaders in a group. Analyzing the results of the development of the ability to resist, note positive changes, especially in relation to smoking.
One of the most famous, resistance-oriented programs currently used in America is the DARE Project (Resistance Training in Drug Use). The DARE Project is designed for fifth and sixth graders before they go to high school. The program is based on the premise that schoolchildren need to be taught to recognize the dangers of substance use and to resist indirect and direct coercion to use drugs. In the same way, the program teaches students to recognize and resist peer suggestions and others to experiment with drugs. The program includes from 15 to 20 modules, each of which is conducted by a representative of the official authorities and lasts 45-60 minutes. The modules are devoted to such topics: the art of refusing, risk assessment, decision making, interpersonal skills and the art of communication, critical thinking, alternatives to drug use. The DARE program has achieved positive results in refusing art to schoolchildren, although there are still no data on the long-term impact of these projects on drug use.
Harm reduction social policy
“We are talking about a high degree of risk for young people and families in the United States, but I don’t know of a single continent that would not be in danger of drug and alcohol abuse or a country not affected by them. Young people are at risk around the world, families are at risk all over the world. All communities and institutions of humanity are at risk all over the world, nations in danger. ”
Dr. Benson Bateman, President of the Organization for the Development of Human Resources, The Journal, May 1993
Countries vary greatly in their social policies regarding drug use. Much has been said in this book about the “war against drugs” and the policy of “zero tolerance” in the United States. This policy is opposed to another social strategy called “harm reduction”, used, for example, in England and the Netherlands. The harm reduction policy focuses on minimizing the negative effects of drug use on individuals and society, even if it temporarily supports safe drug use. According to Diana Reli, who heads the Canadian Substance Abuse Center, “Harm reduction builds a hierarchy of goals, outlining the most vital and realistic that should be achieved in the first steps towards safe use or abstinence. This is a pragmatic approach that reveals that abstinence cannot not be a real, not desirable goal for some, especially in the short term. ”
She described two examples of harm reduction policies. The first is Merseyside in England. Pharmacists and police collaborate in Merseyside clinics, who have introduced “a rational approach, including prescribing drugs, providing clean syringes and facilitating, rather than criminalizing, drug addicts.” The advantages of such cooperation include the low incidence of HIV infection among drug addicts, the preservation of jobs for many drug addicts, the reduction of thefts and robberies.
The second example is Amsterdam, where they tried to reduce the harm from drug use by providing medical and social assistance to drug addicts. Part of this strategy was reducing police attention to the possession and use of marijuana and mobile stations distributing methadone. Prison sentences threaten only distributors of “hard” drugs.
So far, this policy has not been adopted in the United States as a whole, but its individual elements are being applied. For example, in the 1960s, supporting methadone programs were introduced throughout the country. They were intended to partially reduce crime among heroin users. Secondly, a syringe exchange program was recently introduced, designed to reduce the risk of the spread of HIV among drug users. However, both of these programs have their violent opponents. Recently, a syringe exchange program has been subjected to fierce attacks, contrary to scientific research, indicating that drug addicts participating in these programs did not use drugs more often, and also that the number of drug addicts did not increase. However, harm reduction approaches are not likely to become more widespread in the near future.

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