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
- 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
- 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,