Does drug education make any difference?

Martin Plant, Roy Robertson, Moira Plant and Patrick Miller

in Drug Nation

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199544790
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754609 | DOI:

Series: International Perspectives in Philosophy & Psychiatry

Does drug education make any difference?

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  • Psychiatry
  • Pharmacology
  • Addiction Medicine


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The good intentions of governments and educational authorities cannot be denied. Neither can the importance of doing something in an attempt to mitigate the serious consequences of young people starting to use drugs and lacking simple information about protecting themselves from harm. For educationalists and policy makers there are many complex issues which frustrate the development of programmes with an ability to influence the choices of young people. Fashion often dictates behaviour and fashion relies and depends on change, innovation, and novelty. As in other areas of human behaviour new trends arrive regularly and without warning and the serious consequences are often unintended. Almost inevitably education and public health are therefore in a position of responding to a crisis or an unexpected problem arising out of a previously unknown side effect of drug use. Numerous examples show how difficult it is to research and implement an appropriate response to an emerging problem and how often, lacking the ability to predict the future, policies seem to be misguided or ineffective.

Chapter.  2312 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Psychiatry ; Pharmacology ; Addiction Medicine

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