Using Engaged Philosophical Inquiry in Drug Education

Research has shown that “no use” drug education programs, with the objective of scaring or shaming youth into abstinence, have not been effective in addressing problematic substance use. The ineffectiveness of such scare tactic approaches has led program developers to focus on prevention and harm reduction associated with drug use, or in general, health literacy promotion. While significant ‘discussion-based’ drug education programs have been developed over the past decade and has encouraged students to be expressive and critical thinkers about their drug use ideas, their effective implementation has been a challenge. This project proposes using a ‘philosophical inquiry’ approach both as the content and means of professional development for teachers to help them develop skills related to effective techniques and tools, while simultaneously re-shaping the deep structures that operate on their attitudes and behaviours. The results will assist the partner organization to provide optimal prevention supports to help children and youth with substance misuse.

Mahboubeh Asgari
Faculty Supervisor: 
Barbara Weber
British Columbia