Adolescents equipped with decision-making and problem-solving skills are better able to thoughtfully plan their actions and evaluate the choices they face in life. The ability to consider the positive and negative consequences of decisions mitigates impulsivity, keeping actions consistent with short-term and long-term personal goals.
Adolescents often underestimate the addictive nature of prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the dangerous effects of their misuse and abuse. Establishing a clear perception of harm about these drugs builds protection within the adolescent to mitigate the risk of abuse. Adolescents who can differentiate fact from myth about the safety and use of any drug are more likely to resist drug use and remain on track to reach their goals.
Adolescents who understand and can manage risk are better able to predict the outcomes of their actions enabling them to make better, more responsible decisions. An effective course review reinforces skills and concepts, providing further opportunities to practice skills and recall information. The recognition of student participation and completion of the program builds self-efficacy.
Adolescents overestimate the percentage of their peers who use marijuana and underestimate the negative effects of the drug's use. Perception of harm is an important factor for mitigating risk. Normative education methods effectively correct misconceptions about behavior.
All forms of tobacco and tobacco-related products are harmful to the body. Tobacco products contain the highly addictive chemical, nicotine. Social image is one reason teenagers begin to use tobacco-related products. This lesson demonstrates that nicotine use projects a negative social image rather than a positive image implied in popular culture.
Underage consumption of alcohol has detrimental effects on the development of a healthy body and healthy brain. Student knowledge of the physical consequences of drinking alcohol lessens the propensity to consume alcohol; however, the protective effect of this knowledge can be overridden by social pressures and influences. Capacity to resist the internal and external pressures, influences, and expectations to consume alcohol builds protection within adolescent to remain alcohol free.