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Preventing Substance Abuse/Addiction

Contributor: Yvette McBride Thomas

Prevention Programs

“Just Say No”

  • Sponsored by local governments and found in schools and public agencies.
  • The program’s message is incorporated into public service announcements on television to influence preteens and teens by their peers to say “no” when offered a cigarette or other addictive or dangerous substance.


  • Drug Abuse Resistance Education
  • Found in late elementary and early middle school grades
  • Uses police as instructors and provides case scenarios that challenge fifth and sixth graders to think about and answer them.

S.A.D.D. and M.A.D.D.

  • Students against Drunk Driving
  • Mothers against Drunk Driving
  • These associations help educate and orient young people about the hazards of drug abuse and the dangers of addiction

Tobacco and Cocaine Programs

  • These programs focus on the external and internal factors important to teens. External factors
  • External factors include: breath, teeth, clothes, and costs.
  • Internal factors include: lifestyle choices, time management, and nutrition.
  • Group pressure and dynamics are common elements in prevention.
  • Adolescents who get involved in the use of drugs do so because of friends who use drugs.
  • When a group perceives drugs as hazardous, its members are less likely to engage in the behavior.
  • Educational and support groups are a valuable tool to help ward off abuse and addictive behaviors
Gladding, S.T. (2011). Counseling: A comprehensive profession (7th ed.). Upper Saddle, NJ: Pearson-Merrill.

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