The onset of drug use usually begins during adolescence. Adolescents and teenagers have the highest rates of drug use (Center for Disease Control [CDC], 2011a). Among 9th through 12th graders, drug use increases with each year in school, with rates being the highest for 12th graders (Stigler, Neusel, & Perry, 2011). While overall rates of drug use have been declining, the current rates of drug use among teens are still of concern. The current rates of drug use emphasize how important it is for drug education programs as well as prevention efforts to be began early on. The current drug use trends, as well as teens’ and adolescents’ perceived conceptions about the risks involved with drug use, help to show the importance of and need for more effective and widely available drug education programs. In this study, we plan to evaluate the efficacy of currently available drug education programs, critically examine the strengths and weaknesses of each program, and to synthesize core factors that seem to be the most effective in preventing drug use and delaying the onset of drug use. With this research, our goal is to draw conclusions and make recommendations as to what is most effective for preventing drug use among teens. A preliminary analysis of the literature suggests that certain factors from each of the different drug education programs would be important to include in a comprehensive drug education program that is implemented in schools. From the literature, it appears that interactive programs that are intensive in their training (meaning they last from 10 – 30 sessions), include skills training and competency enhancement, comprehensively cover all drug-related topics, and include normative education.

LLU Discipline





School of Behavioral Health

First Advisor

Morrell, Holly E. R.

Second Advisor

Boyd, Kendal

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Drug Users -- education; Drug-seeking Behavior -- trends; Risk-taking -- prevention & control; School Health Services; Government Programs

Subject - Local

Drug education programs; Drug use; Adolescence; Literature Review


Doctoral Project

Page Count


Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

Included in

Psychology Commons