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Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention Proposal

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Project Summary

The aim of this project is to establish whether the tendency of young adults towards substance abuse can be reduced by introducing education on the hazardous effects of psychoactive substances on the normal functioning of individuals and whether there is any difference in effects when the lectures are given by peers as opposed to adults.

The guiding hypothesis of the research is that the children exposed to information about the way in which psychoactive substances influence functioning of human body will exhibit reduced tendency towards substance abuse.

Studies have shown that substance abuse risk is affected by several factors. First, social status of the individual contributes greatly to the risk of substance abuse (Hawkins et al., 1992). Moreover, family history of substance abuse and other characteristics of the family are also important factors to consider when determining the chances a child has of developing a substance abuse disorder (Substance Abuse – Family Factors).

In addition, a fairly recent study has pointed out that there are significant differences in the patterns of alcohol and drug use between urban and rural populations in that rural populations tend to exhibit a higher rate of substance abuse (mainly alcohol due to its status as the dominant drug in rural communities) than their urban counterparts (Warner & Leukefield, 2001).

Because the array of contributing factors is so wide, in order for this research to give representative and valid results, we need three broad sets of sample populations. While doing the research on freshmen-high school students, we should make sure that the two experimental groups and control group have the same structural features.

The three groups should have equal numbers of children who come from families with a history of drug abuse and the patterns of social standing within the groups should match closely. Furthermore, we should have parallel groups in urban and rural areas so we could make sure that the only variable we are introducing is education on the effects psychoactive substances have on human body.

The first experimental group should consist of five hundred students in an urban area and five hundred children in a rural area. All of them should attend lectures on the effects of substance abuse on humans for an hour a week for three months in groups of twenty. The crucial thing with this group is that the lectures would be given by a peer. The other two groups would be exactly the same, except that in the experimental group number 2 lectures would be given by an adult professional and the third group would have no lectures at all.

Before beginning the study a survey would be taken to find out how many students had contact with psychoactive substances and which ones they used. After the initial three months, we would take the survey again and continue giving the survey periodically, every six months until the groups graduate from high school.

The results of the surveys would help us answer the questions: (i) does education have an effect on preventing substance abuse?; (ii) is there a difference in the impact of the message when it is delivered by a peer as opposed to an adult professional?; and (iii) is there a difference in the effects of education when comparing children from urban and rural areas?

Relevance

One study conducted in New York has suggested that it is possible to reduce the likelihood of substance abuse among children by introducing 20 sessions in which the children were exposed to information about the hazards of drug use (Botvin et al. 1984). This study will, on the one hand, help us confirm those results but on the other, it will give us better understanding on the comparative similarities and differences between rural and urban groups and the effects education may have on each of the groups.

The underlying presupposition here is that those two groups have significantly different ideas about psychoactive substances based on the attitude their environment has towards particular substances. A uniform style of education may help break those (mis)conceptions and create a correct, evidence-based, picture about the effects each of the substances can have on human body. Finally, we will be able to see if there is any difference in the impact of the message when it is delivered by a peer as opposed to an adult.

Budget for the Initial Period

We can mark the first three months of the project as the initial period. Since during this time, the students in the experimental groups would attend 12 one hour lectures, we would need to provide funds for the lecturers. The total number of lectures held by professionals is 600 for the first group and we estimate that one lecture will cost around $40, which totals $24000.

In the group in which the lectures are held by peers we estimate the sum to be at least three times smaller – around $8000 because it will be possible to find volunteers from youth clubs of various NGOs. For the third group, of course, there are no expenses for the lectures. Moreover, the two surveys which belong to this period add to the total sum.

The expenses here come from the materials needed – 6000 surveys and some funds are needed to finance the team’s work on analyzing the data. This part would total around $3000. The classrooms needed for the lectures will hopefully be given by the schools in which the research is to take place. Therefore, the funds for the initial period total $35000.

Budget for the Entire Proposed Project

In addition to the initial funds, which in the case of this project really represent the major part of the total funds needed, this research entails some further costs. These expenses are related to the surveys which are to be given periodically after the period in which the students follow the lectures is over.

As the surveys are to be given every six months, the total number of surveys not counting the first two, which belong to the initial period, is seven. Since we estimated the total expenses of the first two surveys to be around $3000, we can conclude that the remaining seven surveys would cost around $10000. Once that sum is added to the initial funds needed for the project, the total expenses of this research amount to $45000.

As one of the recent studies suggested, if we, as a society, were ready to invest in prevention of substance abuse, the investments would return manifold in near future (Miller & Hendrie, 2008). In that light, I really hope that this grant proposal will be considered as a plea for an investment into the future of our society.

References

Botvin, G., Baker, E., Renick, N., Filazzola, A., & Botvin, E. (1984). A cognitive-behavioral approach to substanceabuseprevention. Addictive Behaviors, 9(2), 137-147.

Hawkins, D., Catalano, R., & Miller, J. (1992). Risk and protective factors for alcohol and other drug problems in adolescence and early adulthood: Implications for substance abuse prevention. Psychological Bulletin, 112(1), 64-105.

Hogan, J. A. (2003). Substance abuse prevention: the intersection of science and practice. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Miller, T., and Hendrie, D. (2008) Substance Abuse Prevention Dollars and Cents: A Cost-Benefit Analysis, DHHS Pub. No. (SMA) 07-4298. Rockville, MD: Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Substance Abuse – Family Factors Contributing To Risk And Resiliency – Single Parent, History, Parents, and Drug – JRank Articles. (n.d.). Marriage and Family Encyclopedia – JRank Articles . Retrieved from

Warner, B., & Leukefield, C. (2001). Rural-urban differences in substance use and treatment utilization among prisoners. The American Journal of Drug and Alcoghol Abuse, 27, 265-280.

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IvyPanda. (2019, May 5). Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-as-a-factor-in-substance-abuse-prevention-proposal/

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"Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention." IvyPanda, 5 May 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/education-as-a-factor-in-substance-abuse-prevention-proposal/.

1. IvyPanda. "Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention." May 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-as-a-factor-in-substance-abuse-prevention-proposal/.


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IvyPanda. "Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention." May 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-as-a-factor-in-substance-abuse-prevention-proposal/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention." May 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/education-as-a-factor-in-substance-abuse-prevention-proposal/.

References

IvyPanda. (2019) 'Education as a Factor in Substance Abuse Prevention'. 5 May.

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