The fight against drug abuse is a never-ending battle but different techniques are studied and designed to address the problem. There are school programs
to educate and spread awareness of the effects of drug use as a preventive measure
. Most often, these programs are led by adults to act as role models. Some programs also use peer to peer approaches because it is easier for peers to communicate amongst themselves. This approach, if done right, is also a great tool in reducing drug abuse
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
studied the use of peer to peer strategies in reducing and preventing drug abuse. The technique is found to work because those who fall on the same peer group feel more comfortable communicating with each other. Clear communication lines mean that there is more room for understanding and learning.Peer to Peer Programs
Peer education means using educators, that have the same age and background, to convey educational messages to a target group. They work by endorsing “healthy” norms, beliefs and behaviors within their peer group. Peer to peer work involves different activities that reach out and educate like peer mentoring, peer helping, and peer drug counseling. The goal is to get young people involved in working with other young people to promote positive change.Advantages of Peer to Peer Programs
Various case studies on the effectiveness of peer to peer programs find that it is a powerful tool in addressing social issues like drug prevention, youth health
, crime, and violence when done appropriately.
- It is an effective way to share knowledge because young people are more likely to listen to people who are like them. Educators are able to communicate with peers through sharing stories and experiences making both learn from each other.
- There is the opportunity for participants to share their real-life experiences with other peers making it a credible basis for learning. The sharing process builds a strong sense of connection with other peers.
- It is a good way to communicate ideas. Peer educators have the capacity to talk to peers in a way that makes sense to them. This makes it easier for participants to understand social problems and preventive measures.
- Peer to peer programs are designed to be fun and engaging.
Peer to peer programs are designed depending on the needs of your community or the peer group that you want to reach out to. An important part of peer to peer education is to train educators coming from the same age, sex, social class, or other similarities to ensure the success of communicating positive ideas.