First, the community norms should be moulded in such a way that they discourage drug abuse. But it’s not as simple as it sounds since a lot of money is spent in promoting these drugs and it is not possible to compete with big companies. Efforts should be made to reduce the marketing of these drugs. These companies should not be allowed to spend more than a limited amount of money on the advertisement of alcohol and other drugs and should be discouraged to specifically target the youth.
Alcohol and tobacco industries should not be allowed to sponsor sporting and cultural events which are mainly attended by the youth (Fisher, 1998). At the same time, education should be given to the youth in school to not be inspired by them and they should be taught social resistance skills (Harrison, 2009). But only drug awareness is not enough. Secondly, the availability of these drugs should be controlled. Studies have shown that prevention programs that increase the knowledge of drugs have no effect on attitudes and the use of drugs (Harrison, 2009).
Policies should be made to minimize drug availability. These policies may include legal restrictions on use, price control and bans on drink discounts, controls on product content and packaging etc (Fisher, 1998). However, applying these restrictions will have no effect on the underground drug industry (Fisher, 1998). Last is the issue of local regulation. All these laws and policies are of no use if they are not implemented. States and communities should make sure that they are doing all they can to help implement these preventive measures.
Local communities can restrict the location and rnumber of retail outlets which sell alcohol and other drugs (Harrison, 2009). The reason for selecting environmental strategies is that they have a long term effet. But it does not immediately provide public satisfaction (Fisher, 1998). There is a lot of evidence proving the effectiveness of these programs but because of its failure to provide short term satisfaction, people often lose interest in their implementation. These strategies directly target the youth and have a lasting effect on the community as a whole.
Fisher, D. A. (1998). Environmental Strategies for Substance Abuse Prevention. 1-12. Focus Adolescent Services. (2010). Alcohol and Teen Drinking. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Focusas: http://www. focusas. com/Alcohol. html Harrison, G. L. (2009). Substance Abuse:. Pearson. Patrick M. O’Malley, L. D. (1998). Alcohol Use Among Adolescents. Alcohol Health & Research World , 85-94. Wisconsin Clearinghouse. (2010). Environmental Strategies. Retrieved May 22, 2010, from Wisconsin Clearinghouse for Prevention Resources: http://wch. uhs. wisc. edu/01-Prevention/01-Prev-Environment. html