Youths Serving Youths in Drug Education Programs
Drugs affect every aspect of our society with youths presenting the highest group addicted. Unfortunately, traditional drug treatment programs historically have not considered involving youths to a significant degree. In Youths Serving Youths In Drug Education Programs, George Taylor contends that youth involvement in drug treatment programs is beneficial because: 1. Peer groups appear to be more successful with youth drug abusers better than traditional methods. 2. Youths tend to communicate and address issues associated with drug problems, such as culture, values and socioeconomic conditions, at a level that is more easily understood. 3. Youths appear to be more culturally sensitive to each other when dealing with drug related problems. Youths Serving Youths in Drug Education Programs (Y.S.Y.D.E.P.) is mostly student driven, with youths fully participating in all aspects of the drug program. Youths chosen for this proposed program must be drug free and highly recommended by educators, parents, peers, and community agencies. They must be above average in communication, social and academic skills, be trained extensively in drug education, and be certified to be involved. Research findings show that using youths in drug education programs helps to significantly increase abstinence among youths taking drugs. Research also has consistently supported strategies proposed by Elford as an innovative approach to reducing drug usage among youth. This is a must read for anyone involved in drug education programs.