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In Los Angeles, where student discussion groups may be conducted by teachers (rather than trained counselors), students voiced concerns about discussing in the classroom personal information on drugs and alcohol with someone responsible for grading and disciplining them. They also were concerned that teachers would not maintain confidentiality, while students did not seem to have this concern about counselors who were not also teachers.
Students offered suggestions on ways in which both drug counseling and drug education programs could be improved:
Increase the number of drug counselors, but make sure they are credible, supportive, and trustworthy. Increase the number of after-school social activities to give students
alternatives to the temptation of drugs. • Use more guest speakers who have firsthand knowledge of the effects of
substance abuse, including police officers and doctors. Increase parent involvement in the schools' drug education efforts. Use scare tactics as an effective means to demonstrate what can happen if you use drugs. Provide drug education more frequently, such as “every 2 weeks” or “every day for 5 minutes."
Research has generally shown that scare tactics are not effective in reducing student drug use.
Major Contributors to This Report
Fred E. Yohey, Jr., Assistant Director, (202) 401-8623
Detroit Regional Office C. Robert Coughenour, Evaluator-in-Charge
Bascum E. Gillespie, Site Senior