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close this bookDrug Education: Programmes and Methodology - An Overview of Opportunities for Drug Prevention (EC - UNESCO, 1995, 41 p.)
close this folderII. The planning process of drug education
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDrug abuse assessment
View the documentDeveloping prevention goals and objectives
View the documentIdentification of resources
View the documentDetermining the content and selecting methods of the prevention programme
View the documentImplementation
View the documentEvaluation
View the documentProgrammes, target groups and intermediaries

Drug abuse assessment

Needs assessment is the part of the planning process that has to reply to the question: "What kind of drug problems does the target group and the educational institution need to address"? The answer is not always obvious, because there may be very different perceptions and definitions of "drug related problems" within a community. However, a complete assessment will try to determine:

- What kind of substances are being used, by whom, in which situations and resulting in what kind of problems (health, social, judicial, criminal etc.)?

- Are selected target groups motivated to change existing consumption practices?

- What skills and strategies are needed to change practices and obstacles that could inhibit the application of such strategies and skills

- What other prevention programmes and aid services already exist to tackle drug problems?

Several needs assessment techniques exist. The preferred methods will depend upon factors, such as time available, funds and other resources. Some examples are:

- case studies;
- social indicators (statistical documentation available in the community);
- service provision surveys;
- key persons studies;
- target population surveys.

Selecting the most appropriate technique requires a balanced consideration of advantages and disadvantages in terms of time, money, staff, reliability of technique, etc.