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Addict Behav. 1993 Mar-Apr;18(2):213-34.

Drug abuse prevention for high-risk African American children and their families: a review and model program.

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  • 1Center for Psychological Studies, Nova University, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33314.


In this article we are specifically concerned with the familial and socioeconomic factors that contribute to the exceedingly high prevalence rates of drug abuse in African-American children. In addition to detailing the impact of drug abuse in African-American children and their families, we consider how this critical health problem can be prevented using existing knowledge and strategies known to mental health professionals. A model program entitled Project for a Substance Abuse-Free Environment (SAFE) is outlined. Its objectives are to implement: (a) a broad-spectrum family intervention to empower disadvantaged and high-risk families in their communities: (b) a competency-based skills intervention to increase resilience and decrease drug use and other maladaptive behaviors in at-risk children; (c) alternative activities that will promote self-efficacy, achievement, and self-esteem; (d) a culturally-relevant evaluation plan that includes both formative (process) and summative (outcome) evaluation; (e) a comprehensive approach for assessing project impact; (e) systematic procedures for enhancing the maintenance and generalization of gains in participating children and families.

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