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School-Based Drug Use Prevention Programs in the Ex-Drug Users’ Perspective

WithTeuku Tahlil, Aiyub

The prevalence of drug users remains high across societies in Indonesia, including among junior high school-age children. This becomes an alarm to remind us the importance of drug use prevention efforts. Moreover, the effects of drug abuse are dangerous for physical, mental and social well-being of school-age children, leading to poor academic performance. This initial study aimed at exploring the perspectives of former drug users on the development of effective school-based drug prevention programs for junior high school students. This qualitative study used Focus Group Discussion (FGD) as a tool for data collection. Study participants comprised a group of eight former drug users who were selected through a purposive sampling method. The data were then analyzed using a qualitative content analysis. Findings suggest that the ex-drug users believed that drug use prevention programs would be very important for the students in order to minimize any potential negative effects of drug use on the students’ well-being and academic performance. Socialization and rehabilitation were proposed as the component models of drug use prevention programs. Peer groups, teachers, parents, and religious experts were expected to be involved in the implementation of school-based drug use prevention programs. The participants also expected relevant parties to provide more concern and to meet regularly to strengthen cross-sector cooperation. Various obstacles including policy, funding, support of authorities, and stigma should be solved properly to increase the effectiveness of drug use prevention programs. School-based drug use prevention should be provided and would be effective for junior high school-age students. Related stakeholders, especially the authorities should be involved to encourage good policy, to provide sufficient funding, to strengthen cross-sector collaboration with the same vision and goals in school-based drug use prevention programs.