UII implements a substance
abuse prevention curriculum developed by the SPARK Training Institute,
in New York. It is designed for delivery to age appropriateness
and provides students with a basic understanding of chemical dependency.
The focus is on acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary for
making healthy lifestyle choices. An instructor acquaints students
with school and community resources and disseminates printed materials
consistent with the lessons.
The curriculum is designed
to enhance the student's natural ability and desire to help others.
Social skills such as problem solving, refusal skills and assertiveness
are taught to the peer helpers to improve their technique. Communication
skills are emphasized and nonjudgmental behavior are practiced in
order to improve the students' ability to effectively help their
The lessons contained in
the drug prevention curriculum were developed after conducting an
extensive review of the literature detailing the current thinking
on effective drug prevention using the curricular approach. (Perry
and Murray, 1985; Durell and Bukowsi, 1984)
The five lessons are based
on the social competencies model (Botvin, et al, 1984), which has
been effective in reducing levels of tobacco, marijuana and excessive
alcohol use amongst teenagers.
The educational approach
favored in drug prevention is based upon andragogical principles
(Knowles, 1980), which differ from traditional pedagogy in significant
ways. The underlying assumptions of andragogy, which can be applied
to teaching drug prevention to adolescents, include:
Focusing on the immediate
application of the material presented
Assuming a readiness to learn
based on adolescent developmental task, such as separation/individuation
and the adoption of adult roles, and
An understanding that the
learner brings with him/her a body of experience, which relates
to and affects the learning.
The goal is to teach young
people the basic social skills necessary for living a healthy life.
This includes decision making as applied to high risk situations
relevant to their life experience, stress management techniques
and communication skills in dealing with peers and asking for help.
In addition, important cognitive components are included on the
immediate short terms effects of the drugs adolescents are most
likely to encounter, and the effects of chemical dependency in families.