Organize Family Skills Programming with the Family-based Guidelines

A positive family environment can have a preventative effect on substance abuse behaviours as well as mental health problems, violence, criminal behaviour and risky sexual practices. The potential effectiveness of comprehensive school- or community-based initiatives will be greatly increased by including family skills programming.

The evidence-based Canadian Guidelines for Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Family Skills Programs:
• Represent best practices;
• Provide direction to teams wishing to design their own family skills program, strengthen an existing program, or adopt an existing effective program; and
• Provide a benchmark for family skills programming and a framework for planning, implementing and evaluating an initiative.

Contact us at youth-jeunes [at] ccsa [dot] ca, if you:
• Would like more information putting these guidelines to work for you;
• Have used these guidelines and want to share your experiences; and
• Have ideas for other practical tools to help put these guidelines to work for you.


Community-based Standards Help Make Youth Substance Abuse Prevention a Community Responsibility

The prevention of substance abuse is most likely to be effective when prevention takes a comprehensive approach that involves coordinated efforts in multiple settings. Accordingly, the 18 Canadian Standards for Community-based Youth Substance Abuse Prevention advise teams on how to bring together various initiatives (e.g., family, recreational, media, post-secondary institutions, workplaces, bars and nightclubs) into a coherent whole. The school-based and community-based standards are companions, encouraging school- and community-based teams to plan consistent efforts.

These standards provide an evidence-informed framework for teams to use when planning, implementing or evaluating youth substance abuse prevention initiatives. These are standards of excellence that serve as a roadmap to help communities reflect on current practice and provide a process to strengthen the effectiveness of initiatives. The standards are organized within a five-phase planning cycle that can be implemented in a different order depending on the context of your initiative.

Community Standards at a Glance will help you better understand each of the standards, permitting the identification of those relevant to the needs of your community. It is best used with the Planning, Self-Assessment and Action Sheet for Community-based Prevention Initiatives. The results of your assessment can be used as a baseline to monitor your initiative’s progress in meeting the standards from year to year.

Contact us at youth-jeunes [at] ccsa [dot] ca, if you:
• Would like more information putting the standards to work for you;
• Have used the standards and want to share your experiences; or
• Have ideas for other practical tools to help put the standards to work for you.


Latest resources for school-based prevention

Mentor UK has recently produced two new resources for use in schools as a part of ADEPIS its Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service. Whilst they have been developed with the UK audience in mind, we think they benefit anyone looking to implement prevention within their education system. Let us know what you think!

Early Intervention and Prevention: This briefing paper is aimed at informing teachers and practitioners involved in the delivery of alcohol and drug education and prevention. In the paper Mentor UK set out the importance of Early Intervention as a preventative measure that offers children and young people the necessary social and emotional skills to help them make more positive and informed life choices.

Making it inclusive: Alcohol and drug education in multicultural settings: When delivering alcohol and drug education in multicultural settings including classrooms, teachers will need to tackle sensitive issues. Not all pupils are comfortable discussing certain topics, and some parents are reluctant to allow their children to explore certain themes. This briefing paper outlines key requirements to ensure the delivery of culturally sensitive alcohol and drug education in the classroom.


How to raise drug-free kids

This short guide developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics provides useful advice to parents wondering how to address alcohol and other drug related issues with primary school-aged children. As the most influential role models in their children’s early years, parents are encouraged to prepare their children for a time when drugs may be offered to them. The article highlights the importance of strong bonds and communication between parents and children and encourages parents to address problems faced at school and in their children’s immediate surroundings, the dangers and effects of drugs and good and bad decision making. Families are also advised to stress values that are important to them and encourage their offspring to talk about their emotions. The guide also offers advice on how parents can help their children resist peer pressure.


Guide to implementing community drug prevention programmes

This month the Australian Drug Foundation published the latest issue of their Prevention Research journal which features alcohol and drug prevention programmes in communities across Australia. The issue provides guidelines for organisations, individuals, practitioners and others developing and running prevention programmes and activities in community settings. The issue highlights the importance of comprehensive community programmes involving families, schools and other community entities and offers guidelines to community-based organisations and groups working in the field of drug prevention.


Quality standards for effective alcohol and drug education now available

The ADEPIS quality standards for effective alcohol and drug education are now available on the Mentor ADEPIS website. These aim to help schools and external providers of alcohol and drug education assess their own practice, in and outside the classroom, and make the case for appropriate support and resources. ADEPIS (The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service) is a project funded by the UK Department for Education and run by the drug prevention charity Mentor UK, in partnership with DrugScope and Adfam.


New book analyses the online market in narcotics

This new book describes how the online market in narcotics is not only changing the way drugs are bought and sold but is also changing the nature of the drugs themselves. 'The web revolution that’s changing how the world gets high' is written by Mike Power and uses research to map the chemical, social, political and economic landscape of the current narcotic underground and its impact on those who consume the drugs that it generates. The book shows how enterprising dealers are using the web to engage highly-skilled foreign chemists to tweak the chemical structures of banned drugs to create legal alternatives. In 10 chapters, the book looks at issues such as the birth of the online drugs culture and prohibition in a digital age.


What does science tell us about marijuana?

Here's a useful resource summarising current scientific knowledge on the impact of marijuana on young people. For example, today's marijuana contains around four times the amount of the key element THC than did' weed' from the 1960's, and the smoke contains 50% - 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than that from ordinary tobacco. Many of the other 500 components are as yet not fully researched. THC directly affects parts of the brain associated with memory, learning, attention and reaction time, and the adolescent brain is particularly vulnerable to permanent changes. THC may cause depression, anxiety and psychosis. It is also linked with significant potential drops in IQ and with car crashes. Other studies have suggested that marijuana use will lead to abuse of other harmful substances by young people.


Parenting programmes - here's five of the best

Parenting is closely linked with the prevention of adolescent behaviour problems, including substance abuse. University of Washington researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programmes and found five to be especially effective. The programmes chosen focus on fostering opportunities, skills, rewards for positive social behaviours, bonding and clear expectations for behaviour. They tackle risk factors such as poor parental supervision and family conflict, and demonstrate 'normal' family behaviour. The five programmes are: Nurse-Family Partnership, The Incredible Years, the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P), Strengthening Families 10-14, and Staying Connected with Your Teen.



Subscribe to RSS - Resources