Heroin addiction is a serious issue that not only poisons the lives of the addicts but also adversely affects relatives, friends, and the community. One of the interventions to tackle this problem is preventive education (Bruckner et al., 2014). Educational institutions can save students who balance on the verge of addiction or divert others from taking the drug path. This article will address the topics of education-based curriculums, educational models, adopted policies and the ways to improve them.
Education-Based Curriculum in Heroin Addiction Prevention
One of the key principles of heroin abuse prevention is setting a priority for learning outcomes (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Vienna, 2004). It is of the essence for any educational program to build effective knowledge that will both stick to the mindset and prevent cases of drug abuse. In addition to that, a proper curriculum should consider and address environmental factors. The knowledge and skills that students acquire from the program should help an individual withstand a possible adverse influence of friends or family. Another key aspect of prevention education is teaching to identify, share and discuss addiction problems. The curriculum should be designed in a way that ensures the students can define the moment when they are in danger and are equipped to request assistance.
Educational Models and Social Policy
Social policies are rather influential when it comes to education (Freudenberg & Heller, 2014). The presence or absence of them may regulate the demand for some form of preventive education including school curriculums. If local communities are facing severe issues with heroin abuse in their neighborhoods, it indicates the poor effectiveness of social policies. Such a situation will increase the demand for comprehensive rather than additional educational models.
Policy and Legal Stance of Preventive Education
In the U.S. substance abuse prevention and preventive education is administered and controlled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The organization implements a wide range of policies related to education, such as raising public awareness using social media and billboards. Slogans such as “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” are believed to be effective (SAMHSA, n.d.). As for the legal aspect of the issue, the U.S., among other means, addresses it through the Drug-Free Communities Act of 1997. The act presupposes establishing and supporting a collaboration of individuals, agencies, communities, and all levels of government to act on the prevention of substance abuse in adults and youth. Title 42 of the United States Code, chapter 123 establishes grants for actions intended to educate youth and endangered individuals on drug abuse (“42 U.S. Code chapter 123 – Drug abuse education and prevention,” n.d.).
Options to Change the Policies and Laws
There are possible ways to enhance the effectiveness of currently exercised policies and laws. For instance, one may emphasize the role of communities and have social workers educate active neighborhood individuals on how to work with potential threats (Environmental Resource Council, 2017). This initiative might address the adherence to drug education issue. Another intervention might be a legal obligation for schools to establish substance abuse, education class. This measure might increase the coverage of drug-related information (Environmental Resource Council, 2017).
All things considered, heroin and other drugs abuse is a serious issue that needs to be addressed with combined forces of educators, legislators, community members, families, and other groups and individuals. Education and social policies are important for protecting young minds from poor life choices. Currently, the U.S. has certain laws and regulations aimed at tackling the issue, but other measures such as additional substance abuse education classes might increase their effectiveness.
Bruckner, T. A., Domina, T., Hwang, J. K., Gerlinger, J., Carpenter, C., & Wakefield, S. (2014). State-level education standards for substance use prevention programs in schools: A systematic content analysis. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54(4), 467-473.
Environmental Resource Council. (2017). Contemporary drug education. Web.
Freudenberg, N., & Heller, D. (2014). Substance abuse and social policy. In W. Cockerham, R. Dingwall, & S. Quah (Eds.) The Wiley Blackwell encyclopedia of health, illness, behavior, and society (pp. 1-5), New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.
42 U.S. Code chapter 123 – Drug abuse education and prevention. (n.d.). Web.
SAMHSA. (n.d.). Prevention approaches. Web.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Vienna. (2004). Schools: School-based education for drug abuse prevention. New York, NY: United Nations.