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5-level model for primary schools concerning prevention against drug, alcohol abuse and natural disorders

Everyday experience in schools, public sphere and within families, as well as scientific research shows a substance abuse among youngsters. This phenomenon is increasing and the age of young alcohol drinkers is decreasing. Alcohol abuse is by far the most common addiction among young people. This acute situation in Slovenia and other European countries was confirmed by European ESPAD survey and our Institute recent survey. This qualitative study on drinking habits of young people has shown that young people underestimate the effect of alcohol although they know how harmful it is; that dinking among youngsters is widespread social model for leisure and entertainment; young alcohol abusers are vulnerable group of people – they have accepted the tolerant attitude to alcohol of today's wet culture and at the same time they don't have much space to form their personal position towards alcohol.

The last two decades, foreign evaluations of addiction prevention programmes among young people have shown that a substantial part of well-intentioned addiction prevention programs in recent decades, when there was an expansion of drug abuse among young people, in fact reached the opposite effect – increased addiction, while the majority of the rest of the prevention programs had neither positive nor negative effects. On these critical considerations new findings on the risk factors for drinking and use of illegal drugs among young people are developing as well as the knowledge on how, when and where to address the risk factors for abuse.

Based on these social, scientific and political grounds, the Institute Anton Trstenjak begun with the project Alcohol abuse prevention among youngsters in 2006. It was implemented in three primary schools in Ljubljana, on the initiative of the Municipality of Ljubljana and the headmasters of primary schools. The implementation of the alcohol abuse prevention programme has been successful. On the basis of this programme, we started with a project "It's good to live". The goal of this project is to refresh the knowledge and experience and prepare a model, which can be included in a curriculum as an effective and simple prevention for a healthy and sober life without alcohol, drug, gambling and computer addictions, eating disorders, etc. We are continuing with our preventive work on the selected three primary schools in Ljubljana, and at the same time, we are organizationally and methodically expending it in accordance with a project "It's good to live". We have included two more schools in two rural areas.

The expert group for creating the model and monitoring its implementation in practice by the method of action research is consisted of: headmasters, counselling workers and class teachers from our partner primary schools, experts and researchers from the field of addiction, occasionally also parents of the children from selected 5th classes of primary schools and volunteers.

The following primary schools are included in the project: Miško Kranjc, Kolezija, Poljane, Komenda Moste, Brinje Grosuplje. Institute, as the leading partner, cooperates also with the external partners: Social forum for addictions (Alcohol Abuse Counselling Service in Ljubljana) and volunteers.

The project "It's good to live" is 85% financed by the European Social Fund and 15% by the Ministry of Education and Sport.


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