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Drug Education Programs

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Medically Reviewed By: Diana Vo, LMFT

September 13, 2023

Table of Contents

Drug education programs can take many forms, from court-ordered programs to programs targeted at youths.

The recent publication of data from NSDUH 2020 – the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted by SAMHSA – shows that 28.5 million adults in the US have alcohol use disorder and 40 million have substance use disorder. Representing a dramatic increase on data published in 2019 with rates of addiction practically doubling, drug education programs are more important than ever.

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The dissemination of knowledge obtained from researchers and addiction specialists can help everyone to learn more about the dangers of drugs and addiction, as well as evidence-based treatment that works.

As part of an overarching strategy, drug education programs can play a valuable role in reducing substance abuse rates in a community, and they can also be beneficial as part of a treatment plan in a drug or alcohol rehab.

What is a Drug Education Program?

Drug education is an umbrella term incorporating various areas of alcohol and drug addiction recovery. It can refer to any of the following:

  • Preventive treatment
  • Recovery from alcoholism or drug addiction
  • Early childhood drug education
  • In-school drug education
  • Research and development

Additionally, drug education can refer to the attempt to educate residents of a community about the dangers of addictive substances, substances that might be widely available and damaging to health, finances, employment, and family relationships.

Presented in a wide array of formats, you could encounter drug education in any of these modalities:

  • Classes
  • Advertising materials
  • Employee assistance programs (EAPs)
  • Wellness coaching
  • Research papers
  • Infographics
  • Clinical or hospital training
  • Open community meetings

There are two main areas where drug education programs are applied, though:

  • Drug education for youth
  • Drug offender education programs

Drug Education for Youth

 A drug education for youth program targeted at school-aged children typically focuses on imparting sound decision-making skills and developing overall resilience. Some youth drug education programs also guide parents on effectively communicating with their children about the dangers of drugs, and also suggest that parents model responsible drinking behaviors and refrain from using drugs.

One of the earliest examples of a drug education for youth program is DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). Founded in 1983, the DARE program consists of police-led classroom lessons delivered to kids from kindergarten through 12th grade. The focus is on resisting peer pressure and living productive lives free of drugs and violence.

Implemented throughout the United States and in many other countries worldwide, the DARE program has helped millions of children in various ways.

Since the 1980s, there has been a shift from the scare tactics used in the “Just say no” campaigns against crack abuse to prevention-based education with a focus on strengthening the self-esteem of young people. Many modern drug education programs for youth emphasize that most of the youth’s peers will not use drugs, emphasizing the prevalence of non-usage.

California Youth Services offers an assessment tool in the form of JADE (Juvenile Alcohol and Drug Education) for parents who suspect their children are using alcohol or drugs.

JADE allows parents to access drug and alcohol education, providing intervention strategies and innovative techniques.

This program can also be beneficial for a wide range of juveniles, from first-time drink or drug users through to adolescents with more advanced addictions. The program is facilitated throughout by experienced addiction professionals.

Most programs for youth like JADE will also offer an evaluation and resources to streamline ongoing recovery.

Drug Offender Education Programs

Drug offender education programs can sometimes be mandated by the courts.

In California, drug education programs can be used in the following applications:

  • Mandatory court-ordered alcohol awareness education
  • Alcohol and drug awareness programs
  • State-mandated or court-ordered intervention programs
  • Pretrial diversion programs for some drug crimes

This type of drug education program for drug offenders can also be delivered within a prison setting, depending on the available resources.

Drug and Alcohol Education Programs at Renaissance Recovery

If you need to complete an alcohol and drug education program as part of court-ordered rehab, we can help here at Renaissance Recovery Center.

All our outpatient programs utilize a personalized combination of evidence-based treatments alongside holistic therapies, ensuring you build a firm foundation for ongoing sobriety.

You can also access vocational development programs and drug education as your circumstances demand.

To take advantage of robust drug education, effective therapies, and comprehensive aftercare, all you need to do is reach out to Renaissance today at 866.330.9449.



At Renaissance Recovery our goal is to provide evidence-based treatment to as many individuals as possible. Give us a call today to verify your insurance coverage or to learn more about paying for addiction treatment.

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Joseph Gilmore has been in the addiction industry for three years with experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

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