Social Norms & Drug Education
Social norms and drug education
In US Schools and FE Colleges reductions have been shown in alcohol, tobacco and cannabis use amongst young people, following corrections of misperceptions. Closer to home, social norms campaigns have been undertaken in Swindon schools to address alcohol use.
Government guidance to schools says that drug education should "challenge misconceptions that young people hold about the norms of their peers' behaviour and their friends' reactions to drug use.
This 'normative education' is important because young people often overestimate how many of their own age group drink, smoke or use illegal drugs" (DfES, 2004, Drugs: Guidance for Schools).
More recent guidance for schools from https://mentoruk.org.uk/ and Drinkaware also emphasise the need to include an element of social norms in school drug education programmes.