The Need for and some Results of Evaluation of English Drug Education

  • Nicholas Dorn


It may be speculated that the process of growth of drug education shows remarkable similarity with the process of growth of drug use, and might attempt to pursue the analogy with the aid of analyses based on sociological or on individual-psychological perspectives. When use of a new drug initially “takes off” in a certain population, there is a period during which it is used most unwisely, in inappropriate settings and at inappropriate times. Kids come to school stoned, take too much, freak out and generally make a mess of things until the drug and ways of dealing with it are fully absorbed into the sub-culture. At this early stage, the user is very involved with the drug and what he can achieve with it, apt to be an active proselytiser, and is rather defensive, brooking no criticism of his behaviour. Drug education also tends to “take off” at a certain point, and during its expansion phase a large number of approaches are enthusiastically advocated. Analysis of samples of these drug education capsules shows that they are frequently not what the seller claims them to be: in a recent review of drug education materials by our staff, many of those sold as “facts” turned out to be something else (in both meanings of the phrase). Many of the samples contained adulterants likely to produce anxiety in the consumer, but it is not known whether these adulterants were introduced accidently or whether they were included deliberately to provide a bigger “kick”. One of the most alarming features of taking drug education is that no one can predict the effects, which depend on the person who takes it, the set and setting as well as on the formula taken. Many hope that drug education will solve their problems, but often find that the problems are still there, and sometimes worse afterwards.


Drug Dependence Illegal Drug Local Education Authority Inappropriate Time Teacher Training College 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Dorn, N. and Thompson, A. (1974) “Planning Teaching about Drugs, Alcohol and Cigarettes” Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence, London.Google Scholar
  2. Dorn, N and Thompson, A. (1976) “Evaluation of Drug Education in the Longer-Term is not an Optional Extra”. Community Health, 7, 154–161.Google Scholar
  3. De Haes, W. and Schuurman, J. (1975) “Results of an Evaluation Study of Three Drug Education Methods. “International Journal of Health Education, 16.Google Scholar
  4. Dorn, N. (1975) “Notes on Prediction of Behavioural Change in Evaluation of Drug Education”. Journal of Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 1 15–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Dorn
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Drug DependenceLondonUK

Personalised recommendations