RATHER THAN TELLING YOUNG PEOPLE TO “JUST SAY NO” TO DRUGS, WE MUST GIVE THEM THINGS TO SAY “YES” TO.
These factors can be conceptualized as operating in various realms in the lives of individual children and adolescents. The NIH’s National Institute on Drug Abuse identifies these domains as Individual; Family; Peer; School; and Community.
Quality after-school programming is often itself cited as a protective factor, but also reinforces other protective factors (strong neighborhood attachment, connection with supportive adults, improved academic performance) while mitigating certain risk factors (inadequate parental supervision, exposure to neighborhood violence). Because risk and protective factors for substance abuse overlap closely with those for youth violence and mental illness (including suicide), effective prevention of one also often lowers risk of the others.