Arizona State University in collaboration with Tri-City Community Behavioral Health Center, Tempe Union High Schools and Mesa Public Schools propose a project designed to discourage drug and alcohol abuse. The project goals are to (1) encourage Junior and Senior High students to have an attitude towards drugs and alcohol that allows them to resist abuse, (2) teach teens resistance strategies, (3) assess the effectiveness of the different teaching methods, and (4) implement a culturally sensitive, effective drug-training program which can be continued after the project ends. During the first phase of the project, students will be interviewed about their drug abuse and resistance experiences. The resultant narratives (stories) will be collected, studied, identified as realistic scenarios by the teen population. The narratives will then be adapted into dramatic performances. These performances will become the basis for the project's second phase. During this phase, the students will be presented with seven different media: a) a live performance followed by a therapist-led discussion of the issues raised, b) a live performance without the discussion, c) a music video docudrama followed by discussion, d) a music video docudrama without discussion, e) a silent reading of the text, f) role-playing, using the text as a script, and g) a therapist-led discussion in absence of the text. In addition to these seven groups, a control group exposed to neither the text or the discussion, will be established. Effectiveness of the different media will be assessed in a pretest/posttest design over a two-year period. These tests will assess how often students have been offered drugs, how often they refuse, their attitude toward refusing, strategies used to refuse, and success of each strategy. Features of this project include the collection of stories in both English and Spanish, discussions being led by professional substance abuse counselors, top-quality performances by media professionals, and a thorough investigation of effectiveness and attitude change. To enable continuation of this project in the school systems, the videotape program, scripts, reading materials, and a teacher's manual for their use will be distributed to participating institutions, libraries, mental health agencies, and law enforcement agencies, along with in-service training in the use of these materials.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
Research Project (R01)
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Drug Abuse Epidemiology and Prevention Research Review Committee (DAPA)
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Arizona State University-Tempe Campus
Other Domestic Higher Education
United States
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