The issue of drug abuse has been a threat to many economies of the world. This has propelled governments and other community organizations worldwide to formulate ways of curbing this menace from all corners. Among the methods that are used are frank, positive futures and the national drug strategy.
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While each of these has its own salient features, they all serve the common goal of educating the public about the risks involved in drug abuse and also the ways of avoiding becoming victims of drug abuse. Some governments and organizations have gone a step ahead and created rehabilitation centers that help those persons recovering from the abuse of drugs.
The extent to which each of the methods used is efficient varies. This is due to the limitation of the policy in rearing some areas of life. In this paper, the modalities that are followed by frank and those that are followed by the positive futures are measured against one another with an aim of comparing their effectiveness and coming up with appropriate recommendations for each.
For the purpose of the study, the information that is contained in the course material chilling out: the cultural politics of substance consumption, youth and drug policy by Blackman S. is heavily relied upon (Spring1 2010, 30).
The biggest questions that the book-chilling out poses are; the connection between politics of drug war and the prevention of drug abuse, popular culture and also the consumption of drugs. The book is critical of many methods that are used in curbing the crime of drug abuse.
The various policies that are in place concerning drug abuse are critically looked into and the loopholes that are present are brought out in clear. The book brings out the relevance of the main economy to the policies that are made concerning the issue of drug abuse. The book also criticizes the assumptions that the policy makers have made as some of them are unrealistic (Blackman 2003, 45).
The author furthermore tackles the moral obligation of the various stakeholders in the policy making and implementation of the education and prevention of drug abuse. The books main target of the book is the prevention of drug abuse.
Its main take is that if enough prevention measures are put in place, then the cases of drug abuse will be relatively lowered and thus the costs that are incurred in the rehabilitation of the drug addicts are effectively lowered (Spring1 2010, 23).
The effect of art in the course of tackling drug prevention and education is also brought out in the light. The author applauds the efforts that are being put in place by the musicians, media, and the cultural studies in helping the society to learn the dangers of drug abuse.
The policies that are being made in enhancing the artists in their endeavors are also tackled in this book. The book is recommendable to any study into the cases of drug abuse education and prevention (MacLean 2005, 10).
The frank method works in a friendly manner. Then name Frank in itself sounds like a name of some individual. On the contrary it is not. The name was coined out of the method that the campaign is carried out and so frank is a friend mainly of the youth he understands what they are going through and talks to the youth with a tone of understanding.
He talks of the issues that affect the livelihood of the youth and relates that to the drug abuse and comes up with a way of solving these problems. The drugs that are mainly targeted are Tobacco, Cannabis, Opiates, alcohol, Ecstasy, Cocaine and derivates, Amphetamines, Methamphetamines and Inhalants/ solvents.
The main target of the program is the youth between the age of 11 and 18 years. The program considers that the persons at this age will be better advised in making their decisions when they attain the age of majority -18 years. Te target facilitators of the program are the parents and professionals whose routine work involves dealing directly with the youth who fall in this age group.
The major theme in the program which is a government initiative is to create awareness among the youth about how much drug abuse can deteriorate the life of the drug user. The program has also been used as a platform through which the government and other persons who would wish to communicate with the young generation have been using. It has been used successfully in learning institutions at the community level and also at the national level at passing down the various government policies that affect the youth.
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The method that is used in positive futures is quite different. While Frank shows the youth and other drug users the effects of drug abuse, positive futures focuses on the benefits of living a drug free life. Though both may sound to be similar they are not the same.
The main focus in positive future is to make the youth know how much it shall be profitable to their lives if they shall be able to detach themselves from rugs. This makes it hard for any persons who would wish to glorify drugs as he or she does not get a premise on which to table the motions.
The method that is a national activity involving the youth at the age of between 10 and 19 years has recorded a high reception both on the local and the national levels. It is worthy noting here that it is at this age that most persons are initiated to drug abuse. While those youth who live in less advantaged environments are recorded to get involved in drugs at the ages of 10 to 14 while the others in the society usually get involved when they are between 15 and 19 (Spring2 2010, 33).
In comparison, both methods are seen to targets the youth. This is the first assumption that has been evidenced in both the methods that it is the youth who are adversely affected by the abuse of drugs. On the contrary it has been proved that even persons at advanced ages have fell victim of drug abuse.
The craving for more caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and other abused drugs increases with the increased usage as opposed to the thinking that it reduces. Thus even though both the projects help in reducing the occurrence of drug abuse and addiction at the young age and thus on the future old age, the current drug abusers who are beyond the age bracket are left out of the programs.
The usage of modern technology is so evident in both the Frank method and positive future method. While old persons may be content with the old technology, the young persons are always innovative and usually ready to try out new developments in the market.
The fact the two programs run websites which are regularly updated and are in line with current technology; it is a major booster to the programs. This makes it even easier for the policy makers to receive information and feedback from the youth.
The networking of the program has also been made better by use of the new technology. The youth would rather identify themselves with the technology based sources and channel of communication that print media (Spring1 2010, 15).
In contrast, the programs tackle the same topic on different dimensions. The main aims of Frank program is to educate the youth on the dangers of getting involved in drug abuse while the main target of the positive future is to educate the youth on the advantages of living a drug free life.
Thus the activities that are undertaken in positive future are based more on the life skills that are vital in alienating the mind of a young person form having the mentality of drug abuse. The activities involve sports, investments, discussions and also interactions among others.
On the other hand the activities that are included in the Frank method bring out the issue of drug abuse as a vice. This has posed as a threat to the system at last where the victims are turned into heroes and heroines by the spectators.
The other major contrast of the two programs is the persons who are involved in the facilitation of the projects. Frank as stated earlier acts as a friend who is out to help his fellow friend. It is more of a passive voice that knows much about drugs. Thus the program mostly relies on their websites and youth to youth facilitation.
This is in line with the aim of maintaining the confidentiality of the person that is seeking the services of the system. On the other hand, positive future depends on the assistance of parents and other stakeholders in the running of its projects. Unlike Frank whose facilitators are the fellow youth, the facilitators in positive futures are parents and other professionals who are involved in the daily life of the youth (Spring2 2010, 25).
The attainment of a drug free future is the other common goal of the two programs. The target of the youth at their early stages is a clear evidence of this goal. The generation that crops out of these persons are thus prepared to take life positively as well as being educated on the dangers of living in drug abuse. Thus both the Frank projects and positive future projects give birth to a drug free society.
The response that has been received from the Frank method has accusations of false presentation of truth. Due the fact that the method is usually purposed to be friendly to the youth works on the negative as the policy makers are usually too lenient on the youth so that they may not loose the prey.
This leads them to presenting half truths and the result is that the youth end up having only half baked information. Thus the judgment that the person relying on this information makes is not fully informed. The ability of the system to be uplifted to a pint where truth can be told in black and white is rare since the system has to remain youth friendly.
From among the youth the feedback has been on the affirmative. In its first year only, the program recorded a very high number of visits at its official website and many calls. This number has been rising steadily as the days go by. The fact that the youth can be able to comment or even ask questions at a platform that they feel is secure for them has encouraged persons who have issues of drug abuse to come open and share their experiences.
The confidentiality is further enhanced in that the persons running the websites need not know the real person is the one who is been attended to. Some of the youth fearing to be disclosed use fictitious contacts like the email. Their main aim is to benefit from the program (Spring 2 2010, 14).
The magnitude of the youth who participate in the program has made even more trust it even though they were earlier conservative about the program. The youth have been passing the information about the program to one another. Also the use of parents, guidance and teachers as the facilitators of the program has been received in good faith and has made the number of beneficiates of the program to rise. Then parents have been sending the information about the programs through their own social networks that is different form the official websites that the program uses (Spring1 2010, 33).
The response that is received from the positive futures has been good with a record 59000 youth at the age of 10 to 16 attending positive future projects in 2009. This was a 65% rise from the number that attended the projects in the previous year from the same age bracket. While this was not evident at the early stages of the program the trend is changing and many more youth are expected to take part in future projects.
Apart from taking part in the projects, the participants have received both awards and experience in the activities that they have been engaged in the positive future projects. Some have even made up their minds to take up some of these activities as their career choice. This has been so common in the sporting activities where the participants have been reported to take professional sportsmanship after getting involved in positive future projects.
Blackman has been critical of the areas that are covered by the Frank initiative. According to Blackman, the measures to counter the issue of drug abuse should be a continuous process that involves education at early stages of life. Thus there should be introductory classes for persons below the age of 11 that the program covers. This is to create preparedness on the youth even before they are involved with other more involving projects at the age of 11.
This is also the case for the positive futures. The introductory lessons are missing in the project at early stages. This at some point affects some learners considering that the ability to absorb information varies. The persons with slow learning capability may thus feel disadvantaged as opposed to when introductions are done at early stages. More over there are activities that can involve the persons at lower age groups.
The contribution that chilling out makes in the fight against drug abuse is however priceless. The book tackles the issue of art as a way of dealing with the cases of drug abuse. As we have seen, the above two and many other programs are targeted towards the youth since they are the most affected.
Similarly, the youth have a better taste for art than any other group. This qualifies the use of music, and other literal means in reaching out to the persons whom the information about drug abuse education and prevention is intended. This is part of the activities that positive future uses in its education projects. Like sports, the field of art has recorded a good number of persons who after passing through the projects decide to take as a career (Smart, 2005, 32).
For any of the programs to be sufficiently effective, it should have legality. This is an issue that Blackman does not leave out. He calls upon the government to make legislation that encourages the education and prevention programs. Both Frank and positive future programs have had legislation that help them in achieving both their short term and also long term goals. The availability of these laws assist and also guide the policy makers in coming up with projects that are legal and keeps them in the safe side of the law (Blackman 2003, 70).
In conclusion, the two programs can be termed effective each on its own way. The concurrent implementation of both projects has been praised by many persons as being counter productive in that the persons who fail the target of Frank method are easily captured in the positive future programs.
Recommendations are however made for the projects to cover even the victims of drug abuse who fall above the age groups that are represented by the two programs. Even though the government has other programs that cater for the persons in those age groups, the productivity of Frank and positive future programs has been rated so high in consideration.
This recommendation is made considering that the cut-off of the target group is at the age when most youth start to be engaged in income generating activities. This makes them vulnerable to many pleasures with drug abuse being one of them.
Blackman, S. 2003. Chilling Out: The Cultural Politics of Substance Consumption, Youth and Drug Policy. London. Amazon.
MacLean, S. 2006. Book review: Chilling Out: The Cultural Politics of Substance Consumption, Youth and Drug Policy. London. Amazon.
Smart, R. 2005. Book Review. Chilling Out: The Cultural Politics of Substance Consumption, Youth and Drug Policy. London: Amazon.
Spring. 2010. Models and Methods of Drug Education 1: Drug Prevention through Social Marketing. Manchester.
Spring. 2010. Models and Methods of Drug Education 2: Youth Development and ‘Diversionary Activities’. Manchester.