Developing an Effective Drug Prevention Program for Odawa Native American Adolescents
Lewis, Samantha B.
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Drug prevention programs can be extremely effective at curbing substance use and abuse in adolescents by teaching effective drug refusal strategies, expanding knowledge about drugs and alcohol, the many consequences of drug use, involving parents and community members in the prevention program, and by allowing adolescents to be active participants in the program. There are already several very effective drug prevention programs, including D.A.R.E., Project ALERT, and Take Charge of Your Life, all of which incorporate the prevention strategies listed above in their curriculum. These drug prevention programs and most others like them can be applied across populations, but few programs are tailored to Native American youth, even though the Native community has one of the largest drug and alcohol use and abuse rates in the country. Research has shown that in order for a drug prevention program to be effective in the Native community, it must combine Native American culture and traditions with mainstream prevention strategies. The goal of this paper is to propose a drug prevention program that would combine Native traditions and culture with effective prevention techniques to create a successful and effective drug prevention program for Native American adolescents.