Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Mission 2013 #24 Drug Prevention That Fails

As I read blogs, chat with friends and work with Pastors, Counselors and Crusaders I am struck with how fervent many of them are to prevent drug abuse and heal addicts. Unfortunately, we know little about both treating addictions and prevention it. First, we can become in bondage to several different things.



Food (It has been said that Eskimos can become addicted to whale blubber)
Masturbation-sex with porn or without porn
Heterosexual or Homosexual Behavior
Repeated Tics

Internal Things
Self Pity
Pleasing People
Self Pain like cutting, pinching, burning
Hiding, Shyness

Conclusion: Any repeated behavior that becomes an difficult habit to change must offer the person something that is a reward. If it is not a reward they will stop it.

Unfortunately, many of our attempts to PREVENT such patterns end up being a REWARD and thus make the pattern WORSE or STRONGER. An example is the DARE DRUG Program that was used an many schools and churches. People who attended those Prevention Programs were LESS LIKELY to support their friends who wanted to REDUCE DRUG USE and less likely to PREVENT USE. 

Why was it a failure? Maybe it was the
Wrong People Speaking
Wrong Message
Wrong Setting
Wrong People Listening
Wrong Assumptions about the Needs

During my tenure at the University of Cincinnati the Administration decided to start programs to prevent drug use. They assumed that the users knew very little about the physical and psychological effects of drugs. Students needed, we thought, to be "Educated" about drugs. We assumed they were naive, ignorant, stupid and innocent dragged into drug use. We did not respect them. Our arrogance actually caused them to do more drugs to show us up and, as one student told me, let the "dumb a__ administrators" know how stupid we were. He said, "I know more about dope than you will ever know!" He was right. The program made students more likely to use.

Think about these things:

Who is most likely to use drugs and get hooked?
What kind of personality do they have?
Who would be most likely to speak their language and appeal to them?
Who would be least likely to appeal to them?
What message would be most likely to appeal to them?
What message would be most likely to appeal to them?

Think it over.

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