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Young People, Drugs and Peer Education: An Evaluation of the Youth Awareness Programme (YAP)

NCJ Number
Michael Shiner; Tim Newburn
Date Published
86 pages
Observations of school-based workshops aimed at drug prevention through peer education and interviews with youths had attended these workshops formed the basis of an analysis of the potential impact of per education on attitudes and behavior of youth in London, England.
The research focused on the school-based workshops conducted by the Youth Awareness Program (YAP) in the London Borough of Newham. The study focused on three of the borough’s youth clubs. The interviews included 52 youths, approximately 20 of whom had recently attended a YAP workshop. Participants tended to receive drug information from informal sources with which they had contact as a part of their everyday lives. This reliance on informal sources of information highlighted the importance of providing young people with accurate information and advice that they can access with minimal effort. Findings also indicated that the acceptability of drug use to young people has been greatly overstated, that youth are active agents in the educational process, and that involving former drug users is a crucial part of providing credible drug information to youth. Finally, peer education projects that are based around former drug users and avoid just-say-no approaches can be effective in imparting harm reduction information to youth. Table and 68 references