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Literature Review into the Effectiveness of School Drug Education

DescriptionA web only report accompanying Education Research Findings No 17
ISBN0 7559 2941 1
Official Print Publication Date
Website Publication DateMarch 02, 2007


Conducted for Scottish Executive Education Department
Martine Stead & Kathryn Angus, Institute for Social Marketing, University of Stirling
August 2004

ISSN 0950 2254
ISBN 0 7559 2941 1 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (632k)



1 Methodology
1.1 Aims
1.2 Methods
1.3 Overview of the literature
1.4 Scope of the review

2 How Effective is School Based Drug Education?
2.1 Findings from systematic reviews and meta-analyses
2.1.1 Drug and Generic Programmes
2.1.2 Alcohol and Tobacco Programmes
2.2 Other high quality reviews
2.3 Is drug education more effective for some drugs than others?
2.4 Summary and conclusions

3 What are the Features of Effective School-Based Drug Education?
3.1 Introduction
3.2 What programme approaches are most effective?
3.2.1 Interactive drug education programmes are nearly always more effective than non-interactive programmes
3.2.2 Information and affective approaches are generally ineffective or less effective than other approaches
3.2.3 Life skills, social influences, resistance skills or normative approaches are more effective than other approaches
3.2.4 Multi-component and environmentally-focussed programmes are more effective than single-component and individually-focussed programmes
3.3 Who should deliver drug education?
3.4 Is there a relationship between duration or intensity of drug education and effectiveness?
3.5 Should drug education programmes target single drugs or all drugs?
3.6 Is drug education more effective at specific ages?
3.7 Other features of effective drug education
3.8 Discussion and conclusions

4 Do Drug Education Guidance and Practice Reflect the Evidence Base?
4.1 Drug education guidance
4.2 Drug education practice

5 Indicators and Recommendations for Effective Drug Education


The views expressed in the report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the Scottish Executive or any other organisation(s) by which the author(s) is/are employed.

The Scottish Executive is making this research report available on-line in order to provide access to its contents for those interested in the subject. The Executive commissioned the research but has not exercised editorial control over the report.

This report is accompanied by"Research Findings No. 17: Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Drug Education in Scottish Schools"and a full report "Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Drug Education in Scottish Schools".

All are web only reports are were published by Information and Analytical Services Division, Scottish Executive Education Department, Victoria Quay, Edinburgh, EH6 6QQ. If you have any enquiries about these reports please contact the Dissemination Officer on 0131-244-0316.

The reports were published in March 2007

This report is available on the Scottish Executive Social Research website only