Prevention and Education
One of the most
As the number of ACEs increases, so does the risk for these outcomes. Research in Canada and the US consistently shows that the more children are exposed to adverse events, the more likely they are to have trauma and perhaps will develop harmful substance use. Most treatment programs take a trauma-informed approach to working with substance use issues. Childhood experiences are an important public health issue and we have begun to address this in the past 30 years.
In our region, we should consider the impacts of growing up in multi-generational poverty, with child abuse and neglect, and a lack of access to resources such as
Prevention efforts can be quite complex and diverse in nature. Efforts may involve different levels of intervention (primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention) or may draw on a number of different perspectives of prevention (population health models, community-based strategies, and legal/enforcement approaches). Intended outcomes for prevention efforts may include reduced individual, family, neighbourhood and community harm from substance use; delayed onset of substance use; reduced incidence and prevalence harmful substance use; and improved public health, safety and order.
One local prevention strategy in CKL is the “Medication Take Back Campaign”. Trends indicate rising rates of recreational prescription medication use among youth, the majority of whom obtain these drugs from family medicine cabinets and from friends. In an effort to reduce diversion of prescription medications and contribute to increased community safety, the HKPR District Health Unit, in partnership with police, pharmacies and other agencies, participates in prescription drug drop-off events. These events offer a safe, convenient way to dispose of unused medications and promote the pharmacy
Peer-led programs have been successful prevention efforts to reduce the harms associated with substance use.
For example, the Parent Action on Drugs’ Challenges, Beliefs and Changes (CBC) Program is a peer-based prevention education program for senior secondary students to present on the harms associated with substance use to their younger peers at the grade eight/nine level. The program attempts to empower school-aged youth to make effective decisions about the use of alcohol and other drugs.
1 MacPherson, D., Mulla, Z., & Richardson, L. (2006). The evolution of drug policy in Vancouver, Canada: Strategies for preventing harm from psychoactive substance use. International Journal of Drug Policy, 17(2), 127-132.