Independent Study Demonstrates Effectiveness
The Narconon Truth About Drugs Video Program
Excerpts from Videos Drugs and the Body
The Marketing of Drugs
Decades of Experience and Development
To develop effective drug education, Narconon staff first had to address where past drug education efforts had failed. “Scare tactics,” fear, or reasoning by providing information alone never worked.
For over three decades, working with thousands of schools and several prevention models—everything from supplemental materials to customized live presentations and now complete, easy-to-implement curricula—Narconon staff refined an approach that speaks powerfully to youth and gives a realistic picture of drug misuse in their own language.
To accomplish this, we first asked youths to tell us what would work: We surveyed over 165,000 students to learn, from youths themselves, precisely how to influence youth regarding:
- decisions to stop using drugs (for those who had already used them)
- perceptions about drugs such as would change their mind from possibly trying or using drugs to a firm decision not to use them
- what might support and strengthen their decision not to use drugs (when they state they are already against them).
Social Influences a Key in Substance Abuse Prevention
What works is an approach that acknowledges and influences how youths make social decisions. Since our release of the first video The Truth About Drugs in 1995, Friends of Narconon has used the power of social influence to develop materials and curricula that prevent drug use among our youths before it starts.
As our understanding of what works has evolved, the program has also evolved from stand-alone videos to a full-fledged 8-session curriculum that incorporates true drug data and vital life skills tools into known-effective prevention factors.
The Narconon Truth About Drugs Program aligns with the US Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) core factors for drug prevention programs:
- Information and education about the drug problem–the TAD program covers the effects of drugs on the body, emotions and the mind, as well as how to recognize the more subtle ways drugs are glamorized in the media
- Interactive activities such as discussions, group sessions, parenting and family involvement, and peer leader programs outperform other methods–the TAD program includes small group drills and take-home practicals to be done with other students, parents and family members.
- Supplying appealing alternatives to drug use–the TAD program helps youth set realistic goals and take actual steps towards achieving them.
- Involving community volunteers and coalitions. Mentoring programs have been shown to reduce drug use and increase positive attitudes toward academics. In most communities, the school is an extension of the neighborhood, part of the prevention efforts and a teacher can be a valuable mentor to their students.
- Changing community attitudes and norms on drug use. Interventions that affect knowledge, attitudes, and norms based on the person’s interaction with the environment are effective. In particular, the Narconon Truth About Drugs Video program presents key drug data in a format that also develops social and life skills; methods known to increase prevention program effectiveness.
The war on drugs has been raging for decades and there is little sign of victory. Although youth are swamped with anti-drug messages, kids keep taking illegal drugs, the drugs are getting more dangerous, and the toll on individual health, disrupted families and communities is soaring. Therefore, since inception, the Narconon program has centered on educating youth using key principles from the humanitarian works of L. Ron Hubbard–principles supported in the scientific literature.