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ing that in some school systems 40 percent of Asian/Pacific youth do not complete school.
Critics point to the role that Eurocentric curricula play in contributing to the dropout rates in this country. Youth from communities of color have the highest illiteracy and dropout rates, and in the words of one witness, the "culturally myopic" education system which ignores the experiences and achievements of African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans and other ethnic groups contributes greatly to this tragic situation, as does the absence of appro priate role models who these youth can emulate.
We indicated above that the problem of substance abuse must not be considered in a vacuum apart from broader health, social and economic issues facing our society. The problems of education institutions which foster high dropout rates, and contribute to the prevalence of substance abuse among youth from all population groups must be solved; and the drug abuse prevention curriculums should be examined to determine substance, relevancy, and acceptance by the communities. Continuous and costly reliance on education institutions to stem the war on drugs may contradict what the evidence on successful prevention programming tells us. Further, with surveys such as the ones conducted by NIDA on High School Seniors and Households, we exclude the very populations that need the most help. The evidence shows that casual use among the middle and upper classes, most of whom are educated, has decreased, while drug use among communities of color and in the inner city has not gone down but has in fact increased among hard core users.
The Department of Education is implementing legislative policy on prevention programming as enacted; the issue of funneling the bulk of prevention dollars to DOE is a matter of legislative policy. Yet the National Drug Control Strategy nevertheless places an inordinate focus on the department to carry out policy and programs that are not reaching those who need it most.
Several issues arose during the committee's examination of school-based prevention efforts. First, while there are promising curricula being implemented across the country, including the Michigan Model for Comprehensive School Health Education, they may not be as comprehensive as needed. Gail Milgram, Director of the Education and Training Division, Center of Alcohol Studies at Rutgers University, identified key components which must be addressed for alcohol and drug education programs to be effective. 54 Witnesses in Detroit, California and Chicago discussed these components as they relate to their communities.
(1) The community needs to clarify its position on drugs and alco hol, their use, and problems associated with their use.
(2) School policies need to involve teachers, students, parents and others in the methods and procedures used to identify and help a student. Similarly, educators with substance abuse problems need to be part of a complete program.
54 Statement of Gail G. Milgram, Professor and Director, Education and Training Division Center of Alcohol Studies, Rutgers University before the Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security, April 3, 1990, pp. 3-8.
(3) School districts must invest in teacher training in content, strategies and techniques for identifying and assisting substance abusing students and children of users.
(4) Curriculum guides must provide lessons and strategies that will enable the teacher to fulfill program goals.
(5) Strategies to meet the needs of the students must be age related and deal with the significant concerns of the population. Information needs of the students and educational techniques must fit the reality of the students.
(6) Student Assistance Programs, though a relatively new concept, is an essential element of a program that helps students by identifying a mentor the student trusts.
(7) Employee Assistance Programs, which are sorely lacking in the schools, need to be designed to help administrators, teachers and staff who are experiencing similar problems.
The discussion of components essential to school-based prevention strategies calls into question the development and distribution by the Department of Education of a “model” curriculum program to all schools across the country. “Learning To Live Drug Free, A Curriculum Model For Prevention” put out by DOE in May 1990, is a generic “pre-packaged” program disseminated by Secretary of Education Lauro Cavazos with the notion that "schools are encouraged to revise, adapt, or integrate the model to meet their needs.” 55 While appearing flexible in nature, the curriculum has not been piloted, and it was intended by Secretary Cavazos that it be a self-contained entity which would not require training or further instruction.
This approach contradicts the very basis of a comprehensive community approach to prevention programming and policy. While many school districts have already adopted their own curriculum and would not likely depend on such a model, those who have not developed a community effort in the schools would be taking on a curriculum with little or no guidance, and without most of the essential elements that comprise a comprehensive approach in the schools.
According to witnesses and committee research, the process undertaken by the Department of Education in the development of this standardized model must be questioned, including competitive bidding for the contract, the absence of peer review, and the exclusion of community involvement by representatives of racial and ethnic groups which would be able to target needs and develop realistic objectives for their communities. 56
An example of a self-contained curriculum which failed to change student behavior toward drugs and alcohol was created and implemented at Bainbridge High School in Washington State. For twelve years, Bainbridge schools have been running one of the most intensive and supposedly innovative prevention curriculums in the country. Yet, despite twelve years of this “model” program, the drug and alcohol problem has not improved. Polls in the community indicate that as many as 70 percent of students use drugs or alcohol weekly. Bainbridge school officials said that their efforts were destined to fail without having had the strong participation of the community-parents, community institutions such as churches, youth groups and the media—which would help make a difference in students' behavior toward substance abuse. 57
ss Statement of the Honorable Lauro F. Cavazos, Secretary, U.S. Department of Education in the form of a “Dear Colleague” prefacing the publication of "Learning To Live Drug Free, A Curriculum Model For Prevention", May 1990.
56 Allan Y. Cohen, op. cit., July 17, 1990, pp. 8-9.
A second concern was addressed during the committee's examination of school-based prevention efforts. According to Gail Milgram and Allan Cohen, Student Assistance Programs are a promising early intervention component of curricula, and have been viewed by parents and school officials as an important aspect of substance abuse prevention.58 Yet the Department of Education is promulgating policies to temper early intervention for students because such programs assume drugs are being used, and therefore a "mixed message” about the appropriateness of drug use is conveyed to the student.
An example of the department's subtle discouragement of Student Assistance Programs is Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD). SADD's “Contract for Life,” which is an agreement between a student and parent, envisions a situation where a youth may have been drinking and thus unable to drive. The student, under the agreement, contacts a parent for a ride home. A number of chapters of SADD have voiced their concern that federal funding by the Department of Education under the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act would be in jeopardy because of the “mixed message" conveyed by the “Contract for Life." Parents who engage the contract acknowledge that their children may use alcohol, because alcohol is the number one drug of choice among adolescents, socially acceptable and widely available. 2. State and local prevention
As mentioned earlier, a major concern expressed by many witnesses who experienced problems as prevention providers relates to the manner in which prevention funds are distributed. For example, AADAP was a federally initiated organization created to respond to the needs of the Asian/Pacific community. When federal funding ceased during the onset of the 1980s, AADAP had to turn to the county for resources. The county was not able to provide funding due to the general problem experienced across the country of a limited tax base for local governments, and the inherent failure to redirect services in an equitable way.59
Charlene Ortiz indicated that local and state governments traditionally have not been responsive to the critical needs of people of color who historically have relied on the Federal Government for assistance and general support. According to Ortiz, channeling prevention resources through state and local entities has not provided accessibility to Hispanic communities in Texas. 60
57 "Bainbridge High.” “The Grantsmanship Center Whole Nonprofit Catalog” Winter 1990, 68 Gail G. Milgram, op. cit., April 3, 1990, pp. 6-7; and, Allan Y. Cohen, op. cit., July 17, 1990,
59 Statement of Mike Watanabe before the Subcommittee on Legislation and National Security, July 2, 1990, p. 3.
60 Ortiz, op. cit.
Local practitioners point to the trend to fund existing programs, since they are more established and usually have the infrastructure to respond efficiently and quickly to available grants. Mike Watanabe said that these established programs "have bureaucratic connections and political influence” enabling them to keep their efforts on-going. 61 Further, members of communities of color indicate that when it comes to intergovernmental funding and policy decisions that impact prevention programming, local politics is a deciding factor.
With the federal expansion of the definition of target populations, communities of color must compete for funding with other groups, such as women, the disabled, and groups with non-ethnic related criteria. Though grants may be specifically categorized for women and other special groups, the total amount of funds available remains constant. Frustration was expressed that given the scarcity of resources such policies do not assist community empowerment efforts.
The redefinition of target populations, according to Mike Watanabe, has led to another trend, that of the institutionalization of planning and contracting. It is generally believed by program managers, and Andrea Schneider, Director of the Drug Abuse Prevention Services of Santa Clara County concurred, 62 that local officials have centralized power as a result of the block grant process. This translates into indiscriminate and bureaucratic planning and contracting policies which become a barrier to participation by community organizations. Watanabe cites the fact that as a result of these planning and contracting policies, the number of ethnic minority programs in Los Angeles County is approximately one-half of those that existed in the early 1970s, and local organizations must compete for what little funding exists.63
Local practitioners are adamant that communities must play a vital role in deciding and implementing prevention policy and planning. However, in order to avoid the creation of state and local fiefdoms which may control prevention efforts, the Federal Government needs to provide the resources and define guidelines to make state and local entities accountable to communities.
There are a number of measures that can be taken to enhance the impact of prevention policy and programming. Some require significant funding; others do not, and are readily attainable and can be easily adapted. Still others, however, would also require presidential and congressional action. To better enable the American people to "take back" their communities and to save children of today and tomorrow, the committee recommends the following:
1. Research, interviews and hearings revealed the need for greater funding for prevention programming which would reach all communities throughout the United States. Demand reduction efforts which includes prevention programming and
61 Watanabe, op. cit., p. 3.
62 Series of interviews with Andrea Schneider, Director, Drug Abuse Prevention Services of Santa Clara County in preparation for committee hearings on prevention.
63 Watanabe, op. cit., p. 4.
research must be increased to reflect a 50-50 split of the National Drug Control Strategy budget. Currently, prevention strategies account for less than 12 percent of the total drug strategy budget, and this amounts to approximately $5 per person in the United States spent on prevention.
2. As prevention is an emerging science with its share of growing pains, the Federal Government should not hold prevention programming funds hostage due to the lack of longterm research. Prevention efforts for AIDS and cancer have not been held back due to the lack of long-term longitudinal research. Prevention programming and research should receive continuous attention and increased funding.
3. Prevention providers and administrators at the community level are concerned about the inability of new and smallscale prevention entities to access grants from the Federal Government. Congress must examine the process by which grants are awarded to better assure equity and accountability in the distribution of federal funds. This could better be accomplished by cataloging all grant awards across all federal agencies involved in prevention efforts to examine and evaluate awardees and their work.
4. Drug use and addiction are symptoms of a number of societal ills. Therefore consideration of this crisis must be considered within the context of broader health, social and economic issues including: poverty, unemployment and under-employment, inadequate nutritional intake, insufficient housing, teenage pregnancy, the lack of health care and insurance, academic failure, and, family and community disintegration, i.e. the root causes of drug use. Hard-to-reach populations and inner city groups would be better served within the consideration of this framework.
5. Currently the national drug strategy measures the drug using population by NIDA's National Household Survey and the Annual High School Survey. NIDA should redesign the household survey to include those populations which are currently excluded—the homeless, dropouts, and institutionalized populations, especially those who are incarcerated.
6. The National Drug Control Strategy prevention objectives are not designed to measure the drug use among the poor and communities of color who are disproportionately impacted by the drug crisis. The objectives, and related policies of the national strategy, should be revised to measure the drug use in these communities to ensure that the National Drug Control Strategy targets the full extent of the problem of drugs in the United States.
7. Hearings across the country revealed that the Federal Government is not putting adequate emphasis on prevention efforts in the national strategy. Federal leadership is not coordinating the efforts of federal agencies responsible for prevention. The committee calls on the Federal Government to provide strong national leadership: by setting high standards of accountability and evaluation of programs funded at the federal and state levels, providing cohesion in policy and programming, eliminating the duplication of efforts among the 19 fed