Narconon Drug Education

In the development of an effective prevention program, Narconon staff first addressed where drug education efforts have failed in the past. The basic method used formerly in drug education has been the "scare tactic" approach. This was an attempt to scare youth away from drugs. It rarely worked; and in many cases perpetuated drug use by presenting information that was easily discredited.

In the Narconon drug education presentations to schools, we have refined an approach that speaks powerfully to kids in their own language.

Our professionals, many of whom are former addicts, speak from their own experiences with drugs and give a realistic picture of drug use. We don't just tell kids to "say no"; we educate them to come to that conclusion on their own, and more importantly, show them how to say no and what exactly they are saying no to.

Our study of questionnaires filled out by students has shown us the precise information that causes kids to:

- Decide to stop using drugs (for those who already used them).
- Change their mind from possibly trying or using drugs to a firm decision not to use them.
- Believe more firmly in their decision not to use drugs (when they state they are already against them).

The Narconon program also utilizes the powerful role of humor in getting through to children. We discovered that the more humor we included in the presentations, the better the results. A direct correlation was found between the level of humor and the children's perceived dangerousness of drugs, though the message is clearly a serious matter. With this light approach, kids see the dangers of drug use and really "get it."

We also explore the problems that often underlie drug use. With teenagers, the casual factor can often be boredom or an inability to communicate with others. Therefore, other subjects such as setting and achieving goals are covered as a method to avoid falling into the trap of substance abuse. We clearly distinguish the feeling of "getting high" from drug use which is temporary and damaging from the feeling of self-confidence and true happiness through productivity and accomplishments, which is permanent and real.