Reaching Youth Before Drugs Do
When surveyed, many educators report they lack effective drug education resources that communicate to a young audience. As to what those would be, they say they need accurate, up-to-date and well-presented materials that capture and keep students’ attention.
That is where our Truth About Drugs materials can help. They are current, complete and easily understood by students. Our materials, which are based on authoritative studies and surveys, are presented in a way that is interesting and compelling for young people. And by studying them, youth report that they not only realise it is best to avoid drug use altogether, but they know why they should do so.
No one, especially a teenager, likes to be lectured to about what he or she can or cannot do. Thus, we provide the facts that allow a person to make an informed decision of their own to remain drug-free. The key to the success of this educational program is student participation. To that end, youth are invited to join activities that promote drug-free living—activities that have proven to be popular and which can involve students and community members of all ages.
Drug Free Youth Clubs
Every twelve seconds another school-age child experiments with illicit drugs for the first time. Therefore it is even more urgent that drug education and prevention measures reach kids before they start.
As part of the Foundation’s drug education and awareness campaign, schools and community centres around the world sponsor and host Drug-Free World Youth Clubs. Their message is simple: Find out the truth about drugs.
Young people become drug-free activists through participation in the clubs and their many community activities. Showings of the sixteen public service announcements and the 90-minute documentary, The Truth About Drugs: Real People—Real Stories, are regularly done to give an in-depth look at an individual drug.
Among the activities is getting others to sign the Drug Free Pledge to lead drug-free lives. In so doing, they reverse peer pressure and create drug-free zones in their schools, neighbourhoods and communities.
Essay and Poster Contests
The Drug-Free World program is premised on the fact that if you educate a child with the truth about drugs, they are more likely to make the correct decision about drugs—and come to that decision on their own.
One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by eliciting student participation through Drug-Free World essay and poster contests.
To date, thousands of schools and community groups have sponsored such contests. Providing students with an essay topic or drug-free theme to illustrate, organisers are able to not only get students involved but, as students must call upon what they’ve learned in order to create, the activity reinforces their drug education.
Distributing The Truth About Drugs
An important action in getting out the truth about drugs is the distribution of program materials—drug education booklets and pamphlets. Each week in cities around the world, schools and youth groups help get The Truth About Drugs series of thirteen booklets out into their communities.
The first booklet gives the full overview of drugs, how they work and what they do to the body and mind. Then there’s one covering every drug of choice. With no preaching, each booklet just provides the straight facts. Concerned businesses and governments help sponsor massive distribution to every part of the globe.
Drug education booklets have been distributed in 20 languages, replacing drug myths with the truth. It’s done right at street level, one-on-one and hand-to-hand. To date, more than 26 million booklets have been distributed from New York to Taiwan and from Australia to Italy.