Bringing a recovered addict into the classroom to warn against use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs

Opinions differ on whether it is wise or foolish to have recovered addicts inform adolescents about the risk of use of alcohol, tobacco or drugs (ATOD). Some think that this will deter adolescents from using ATOD; in contrast, others think that this might stimulate experimental use. On the one hand, by informing adolescents in a lively way about their own experiences recovered addicts can convincingly communicate the negative consequences of ATOD use. On the other hand, some adolescents might see their experiences as an interesting temporary way of life and consider the recovered addict as the living proof that it is possible to quit ATOD use. In the Netherlands, a recovered addict in the class room is employed by the foundation Stichting Voorkom. In cooperation with Stichting Voorkom, we evaluate its effect on the determinants of drugs use by 14-15 year old adolescents.

Research team: Prof. Bas van den Putte
Dr. Gert-Jan de Bruijn
Dr. Anneke de Graaf
Status:  Ongoing since 2014
Funding: Amsterdam School of Communication Research / ASCoR