1.0 CHAPTER I
1.1 Combating Criminal Narcotics Activity along the Southern Border
Drug trade has been rife with violence for decades, though the level of violence we experience today are extraordinary. Without working on minimizing the severity of the problems that confront us today, it is critical to understand the background of the culture of violence and the cyclical nature of the violence epidemics. Substance abuse is one of the major problems facing nations while costing them a lot of money in health care costs, lost productivity, related crimes, and other social costs. It also contributes to high death rates annually. There are promising strategies and programs used to reduce substance abuse in helping the communities address the devastating effects of illicit drugs and alcohol abuse (SCODC, 2010). Also, environmental prevention efforts aim to change community conditions to reduce its usage and demand. Using community-based strategies is effective as the drug traffickers, and illicit drug users are part of the community.
According to researchers, gang activities have extended beyond the inner cities of major populated areas through smaller communities and suburbs. Researchers have continued to identify factors that influence the youth to gang involvement. Among them, substance abuse is a major factor. Due to high populations in the community levels, easy access to illicit drugs and the financial rewards of drugs gives alternatives of drugs that are attractive for the youth who have lower inadequate education facing limited employment opportunities. Their involvement leads them into high risked behaviors and potential involvement into gangs.
A community-based program strategy is effective in identifying the intensity of the narcotics in the area. In this way, the authorities can reduce drug trafficking as they will be dealing with specific geographical areas.
The figure of unemployed youths in the community can be used to gauge the crime rates in the area. The process involves identifying the effects of drugs and groups of people who use drugs. The data collected can show the number of unemployed youths with their education levels versus the crime rate of the area. Also, visiting the courts and getting the statistics of the youths caught in drug trafficking charges can help in identifying the trend and future solutions.
There are various methods of data collection used to obtain data. Enumeration is one of the methods used to obtain information from each user eliminating double counting. However, collating data information from data sources using unnamed identifier information can be imprecise. Some of the data sources that indicate the number of drug users within a locality include drug treatment agencies, needle exchanges, HIV treatment agencies, emergency rooms and general practitioners.
Surveys can be used in general to provide information on the use of drugs at the national level. These surveys include population surveys, specific surveys on drug use or the general health related cases or crime surveys (National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, 2009). Surveys can assess the nature and the extent of drug abuse and provide information on recent or lifetime drug use of respondents. When using the survey method, it is often easier to get a representative sample and other repeated surveys that describe trends in drug trafficking and abuse. Use of multiplier techniques as a methodology employs two samples of collected data. To get an estimated figure on the prevalence of drug abuse is possible through the application of a multiplication factor to other indicators on particular information and drug-related deaths.
The number of unemployed youths can be calculated using the methodologies stated. An estimate of the number of users in one geographical area may not differ much from a related affected area. Statistical data collected in one area may be similarly proportional to the working of the law in the area in relation to the unemployed youths present in the area. In this way, the police can use the community allies to report new dealing sites around their areas. The community-based program with involvement of the police could make the buyers vulnerable by involving the police to pose as dealers and in the process; they can arrest buyers (SAMHSA, 2014). The original dealers will be distracted, and their trafficking works disrupted from smooth running. In addition, the police can be involved by interfering with dealer-known sites and as such reducing drug operations in the area amongst involved youths.
2.0 CHAPTER II
Planned change is a process that needs a continuous implementation of elimination of the demand for illegal substances. Setting up goals and objectives would unilaterally resolve the drug problem eventually, as absent demand. Thus, the impetus for the drug trade would disappear. Therefore, the cost of social and health costs related to drug abuse would reduce. Goals and objectives establish a framework for the program to be effective. They create a direction for the program. They also make the goals and objectives measurable through periodic assessments of items achieved. Goals have the mission of orienting the integration activity and budgets of the program committed by predisposition to mitigating drug use and its consequences. The goals should remain constant; supporting objectives that allow for measurable progress. However, they should remain modifiable as success gets achieved with the emerging challenges.
The start with, the first goal is to educate and enable the youth to reject illegal drugs including alcohol and tobacco. Educating parents or other caregivers, teachers, coaches, health professionals, clergy community leaders, as well as, business persons will help the youth reject illegal drugs and underage usage of alcohol and tobacco.
The values are lost and attitudes and behavior among the youth forged by families and communities that support them (Miller, 2011). The program on alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention will be successful when parents and other concerned adults get involved in the efforts already at play. Adult role models should get provided with information and resources that they need to educate young people on potential negative consequences of drug use. Furthermore, they should also receive training on how to spot the signs of youth hat already engage in drug abuse. The parents can steer the young people from this wrong path to one that is of benefit to the youth and the society.
In addition, pursuing a vigorous advertising program to the public would deal with the dangers of drugs, alcohol and use of tobacco by the youth and underage minors. The program will convey antidrug messages through multiple outlets that prove to be effective in increasing knowledge and in attitude changing on drugs. Previously, the trend in adolescents decreased the risk perception connected to drug use correlating with a drop in the public service announcements and frequencies.
Promoting zero tolerance policies for the youth on the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, and tobacco within schools, workplace, family and the community reduces substance use cases. In so doing, children are less likely to use illegal drugs and illicit substances when the program prescribes the activity throughout the society. When schools and the communities demonstrate the will and the ability to reduce rates of drugs usage, the success must be enlarged by the efforts concerned. By including several sectors of the community in implementing the strategic goals of the program, would realize a decline and complete end to these problems.
The second goal relies on increasing the safety of citizens by reducing drug-related crimes and violence substantially. In strengthening law enforcement, it includes the local drug task to combat drug-related violence cases, interfering with criminal activities and running organizations while arresting the leaders related in illegal drugs syndicates. In addition, improving the ability of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) would be of much help in encountering drug trafficking. The areas that need special assistance when trafficking is of such intensity poses extreme challenges in enforcing laws that the program plays. Reinforcing the local responses to such activity situations with federal resources reduces drug-related crimes. According to Boisvert, Stadler, Vaske, Wright, & Nelson (2013), research concludes that a low self-control has emerged as a strong predictor of criminal products and foul behaviors.
Consequently, by helping law enforcement in disrupting money laundering would seize criminal assets. It would target drug dealer assets taking profitability out of the illegal market of dealing with drugs. The goals of the program should be able to enforce laws making their efforts effective as the program get backing from anti-money laundering regulations and support from the financial sector. That will include banks and financial institutions, as well as, multilateral protocols criminalizing drug proceeding movement and laundering.
According to Ford & Blumenstein (2012), peer influence and opportunity moderate self-control on substance use. Developing, refining and implementing effective rehabilitations with the program includes graduate sanctions and treatment for drug abusing offenders and accused persons in the criminal justice system. Most of the heavy drug users have exposure to the criminal justice system annually. That interface helps in providing opportunities in motivation to addicts to stop the use of drugs and substance abuse.
Additionally, the program should lay an objective that breaks the cycle of drug abuse and crime. The program should be obliged to assist all in the criminal justice system to turn out and remain drug-free. Rates of recidivism among inmates given treatment are lower than prisoners who do not receive treatment. Drug courts and treatment programs within the criminal justice system provides their effectiveness. In reducing the drug usage rate and addiction sequences among persons within the criminal justice system, crime rates will reduce. Law enforcement and policies by the program should get informed by the updated research. When success gets attained in a once affected area, the results should be analyzed thoroughly in order to apply the lessons learned somewhere else.
In order to implement the program, a number of resources have to be in place. First, finance is crucial in the functioning of the program. In order to educate the majority of youth and members of the public, resources are necessary to facilitate the activities planned. For instance, the youth that require addressing may need reading and writing materials provided by the facilitating team. There is a need to reach a number of affected persons from different areas to address their self-esteem and control. That is because the combination of low self-esteem and high body influence are related (Woessner, & Schneider, 2013). Therefore, transport facilities should be timely availed, as well as, funds for servicing, maintenance and fueling the transport means. Youths tend to be more attentive and would participate more in physical lessons most importantly activities related to favorite sports. As such, there should be finance set aside for outside class activities that would fully involve them in order to meet the goals and objectives of the program.
Secondly, there is a need to get resource persons as an example that would influence them more effectively. These resource persons should be role models that changed and transformed into better people to the societies. In this way, it gives a practical lesson to the addicts that have lost hope and lost personal value. In so doing, there would be a higher possibility of changing their behavioral trends and attitudes, as well as, their perspectives of general living. Additionally, the use of films and banners should be incorporated as a resource in advertising to the public the dangers of drugs among the youth, community, and the underage minors. Giving the public concrete reasons for the importance of higher studying and better working would translate to higher and better living.
Finally, security personnel should be used as a resource to enforce laws set against drug and substance abuse. There should be higher penalties laid to lawbreakers related to drug and substance abuse. It will help disrupt illegal activities circulating the use of substances and drugs.
Most importantly, there should be groups formed and constantly funded to encourage drug-free societies. Multi-group and structural models can get used together with data from the teens and the community based on national evaluation (McKee, 2012). Involving the communities to lead the groups formed, would be easier in coordination of following up on members as they are more familiar and would be easier in the identification process. Also, collecting and analyzing data from the groups on progress would be made easier. Involving the anti-drugs organizations would help in coming up with better strategies of handling the issues due to their experiences from previous cases and campaigns held. Involvement of the government in funding the program, as well as, provision of material resource could be of many advantages to the program’s success. The government agencies could help in giving advanced strategic ways that will help through their involvement in the program.
3.0 CHAPTER III
Drug usage carries on being a serious problem, but much progress has occurred through effective drug prevention and enforcement programs. Drug use by the general population decreases when people perceive the risk involved in taking drug. As such, good drug programs help in understanding the reasons and ways of how drugs are harmful (Binkley, Mack, & Preskill, 2014). The most affected people in drug abuse are the teens. However, in most cases, most children do not indulge in the recreational use of drugs. According to recent surveys, drug use has seen a significant decrease among the teen population as most of them are rejecting drug use. Sigfúsdóttir, Thorlindsson, Kristjánsson, Roe, & Allegrante (2009) explain that alcohol and other drugs are of great influence to adolescents’ lives and are a growing problem.
3.1 Identify the target population and describe how you identified it
The most affected in the population are the youths. They get easily influenced and dragged into its usage, as well as, supplying to other drug dealers. Taking the youth as a target group in the population will greatly help to curb the problem. That gets achieved by reducing the number of youth involved with drugs. Hence, the demand will reduce. It can be possible through preventing uptake and delaying the onset of using alcohol, tobacco and other influential drugs. Reducing the demand for drugs, will reduce its misuse in the community. Hence, supporting people recover from their dependence on them and enforcing community reintegration. Making the youth the target group in the population, will prevent, stop, reduce, as well as, upset the making and supply of illegal drugs. Consequently, giving the ability to control, manage or regulate the availability of legal drugs. Since the youth are the most involved in drug use, having them as the target population will help reduce the harm drugs cause. The youths are very influential in their working and by controlling the demand and supply of drugs. It will ease the program’s operation to reduce harm affecting the users and everyone involved in its production, supply, and usage. In this way, the program will reduce the adverse health, economic and social consequences of alcohol and other drugs in general.
3.2 Locate similar programs and analyze their policies, procedures, and job descriptions
There are similar programs that get run with the aim of reducing drug usage in the community levels. The programs aim at having a drug-free environment to better the lives of individuals and ultimately raise their living standards. A drug-free environment will have fewer cases of criminal instances, hence creating a healthy living. In so doing, there are policies and procedures laid that enable the effective running of the programs while aiming at achieving goals and objectives set.
There are other programs that are set to help in the control of drug trafficking. For example, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program that deals with opposing use of illicit drugs. Dunn & Behringer (2009) explain how the program works using the anti-legalization policy. The policy ensures that no federal funds directed to the office of the National Drug Policy get expended for any study or contract. Thus, relating to the legalization of a substance listed in the schedule of the controlled substances. Also, taking such necessary actions to oppose the legalization of the use of a substance that has not gotten approval for medical purposes by the food and drug administration.
In addition, apart from considerations that concern the violation of particular laws, the program works at involving the directors and their deputies in reflecting perspectives that are disputed by others with different viewpoints. Such viewpoints include the opposition of any attempt to the use of certain controlled substances such as marijuana. The program uses other agencies in their anti-drug campaigns ad running of the programs such as National Youth Anti-Drug Media campaign that has been the most visible symbol in commitment of drug prevention. The individuals involved in the campaign have resolved themselves to see the campaign working as planned, changing drug attitude, intentions, and its usage.
It is clear that the National Drug Control Policy involves much of participatory programs to the community as much as campaign in order to emphasize on a free anti-drug environment living. The community can change its functioning with follow up schedules that involve crises that have been a concern and a problem in their functioning. In addition, setting a clear statement of the program for faster and better understanding would help everyone who has involved themselves in the program to have a core understanding of the works at hand. A clear statement works to give a better and intelligible understanding of the mission and the vision of the program. In order for the statement to be comprehensive, it should also include goals and objectives of the program. All these facets help in aligning the participants with the program’s goal, such that they function as a unit in pursuit of their set objectives through strategies.
3.3 Identify three of the most pertinent policies, procedures, and job descriptions necessary to use in your program
The anti-drug program helps in breaking down the stigma that gets associated with addiction while promoting a healthy dialog that fosters compassion, cooperation and a better understanding for patients living with this addictive disease. Emphasis on learning outcomes, environmental factors and partnerships are necessary to the program’s success for drug abuse prevention. Programs that aim to alter drug use behavior, directly risk failing to achieve their goals if the target problem is out of control. The environmental community influence behavior of the general population in cultivation of values. When dealing with drug cases in the community, sufficient time and effort is necessary in order to achieve the stated outcomes and collaborative partnerships with the larger populations to develop a supportive and healthy economic growth atmosphere.
Secondly, using the youth as a target group, drug-related learning outcomes could get addressed in the health curriculum content and other appropriate learning areas. That is possible through providing sequence progressions, links and continuity of other health issues affecting the youth’s lives. According to Roehl et al. (2006), by using the youth as a target group, the strategy reduces violent crimes in the community. Programs that are isolated cannot provide the ongoing comprehensive elements required in the development of personal skills and values. Drug abuse affects the whole life of young people; education in the aim of preventing drug use should incorporate important issues that require addressing. These issues include development, coping with stress, sexuality and interrelation collaborations between home, school and interpersonal relationships with the entire community (Chakradhar, 2009).
Thirdly, making the living environment conducive in achieving proper living outcomes builds productive partnerships. The youths respond positively to a living environment that comprises of culture, ethos, goals and sense of order, sense of community where they feel their needs are understood and treated fairly. The youths need to feel involved; they need to own the program and not see it like a foreign activity. When the programs are purposeful, it makes it very clear to the youth on the consequences and outcomes of drug abuse. Furthermore, involvement of collaborative partnerships should get developed for easier and more inclusive decision-making processes.
3.4 Explain how you will address the need for interagency collaboration
Interagency collaboration enhances cooperation among agencies that share responsibilities and jurisdictions. Collaboration, coordination, merger, integration, networks and partnerships are designed to ensure cooperation among the willing agencies overlapping jurisdictions, as well as, shared responsibilities. The purpose of the interagency collaboration training session is to prevent the re-emergence of drug-related violence crime targeting communities. The collective training stresses the importance of a wide system of approach in preventing drug use and trafficking. Thus, encouraging leaders of the program in committing themselves in implementing strategies that enhance public safety; which equips leaders to fulfill their commitments in teaching the youths about techniques. The inter-agency collaboration working helps in acquiring skills that are important to the organization. It also helps the youth to get facilities and for future purposes when planning a program to handle the youth on the same anti-drug campaign. In addition, the cost and funding sources may get handled more easily when handled by inter-agency programs, though the budgeting may appear quite large. The program staff may operate similar programs for much less money by tapping into an already existing private resources. In so doing, the inter-agency working as a team brings minds and great ideas together creating a positive contribution.
3.5 Develop an implementation plan and timeframe for your program
The program should run in accordance to the period set to accomplish goals and objectives. The program should be flexible, but strict in working towards set objectives. Most programs work with annual terms that make the goals achievable before reshuffling the system to revise and better its performance.
3.6 Describe training requirements and materials needed for key personnel
The training requirements needed to run the program effectively include solutions for the youth who indulge in substance abuse. For instance, employment opportunities at the community level should get created to engage the youths. In addition, other social activities like social games in the community will help reduce the chances of the attended youths re-indulging in the act again. The program staff should provide rooms where the indoor learning will take place. Therefore, the provided places should be adequate to accommodate the estimated number of attendants. During the indoor learning, the staff should give reading and writing materials in order to achieve the goals set for the program. The program will also need funds to run sufficiently, as well as, maintain itself within the scheduled period. During the implementation period, there should be security personnel to enforce laws and deal with abrupt cases that may interfere with the programs running. Cases of recidivism should be dealt with accordingly, and those with repeated cases put behind bars. According to Miller & Johnson (2009), courts create a balance in the living including those in drug usage crimes. There should be a flexible budget planned in case the numbers of attendants increases in time. In addition, there should be resource persons for use in the program as such the budget should note the hiring of additional resource persons.
4.0 CHAPTER IV
In the fight for the management and eradication of youth drug abuse, programs that will be instrumental in the process demand proper and effective implementation. In order to systematically tackle the menace of drug use, the programs need to be effective and solid; capable of delivering on their objective and being sustainable. Therefore, a decent beginning will mean increased chances of succeeding in this war. However, to ensure that these programs are effective, monitoring and assessment methods are key. They enable realignment and improvement in areas that are not performing as required. Detailed thought is necessary to ensure that these programs start and progress as planned. A systematic analysis of funding, evaluation, and feedback for the proposed programs will increase chances of success.
4.1 Identify Sources of Funding For Your Program
The sustenance of any program over a long time requires a combination of non-financial resources from the initiative itself and the broader community at large. Internal resources include management and board members’ leadership and access to technical expertise of strong administrative and financial management systems. Critical resources from external sources include support from policy makers, the public or stakeholders who have access to technical expertise outside the program, and engagement of community-based organizations and programs, parents or community members. Funding is one of the fundamentals in the running of any program. Among resources needed for most sensitive matters, funds help in sustainability. They create a strong coalition that brings together a community in carrying out a comprehensive plan that effectively addresses relevant problems. Thus, it depends on more that the maintenance of adequate fiscal resources.
Secondly, a primary prevention campaign will reduce the need for treatment of drug abusers after a while. Thirdly, media campaign has great influence on the youth who are most affected and in this case are the target population. Media campaign can affirm the anti-drug attitudes of the youth who do not involve themselves in substance abuse than persuading experienced long-term users to change their behavior. There is also the involvement of other related programs with similar goals and objectives, for example, the Drug Strategy Community Initiative Funds. Using funding programs that support national and regional prevention and health promotion programs, discourages illicit drug use among the youth. It focuses on increasing awareness and understanding healthy lifestyle choices, highlighting drug abuse and its negative consequences, and increasing knowledge and skills capacity to avoid illicit drug use. It also increases community structures engagement, health networks and efforts of prevention to prevent illicit drug use among the youth. In addition, there is involvement of funding in support of projects aimed at preventing and reducing substance-related crimes in the population and communities. For instance, involving the national crime prevention center involves funding through reorienting funding from the Crime Preservation Action Fund. These projects target children and the youth at risk of substance abuse. Mills et al. (2014) emphasize on the indulgence of the youth in alcohol abuse, hence giving a need to fund programs to rescue the situation. In addition, other programs like the drug and organized crime awareness services support initiatives across borders. These initiatives increase awareness of the nature, extent and consequences of substance use and abuse that gets directly funded.
4.2 Determine Criteria to be Used to Evaluate the Success of Your Program
The program’s success essentially relies on the participants involved. The number of strengths available is inadequate for providing sufficient guidance in an effort to reduce crime. The knowledge gap can be filled by restructuring the program in order to provide adequate controls for careful testing on the effectiveness of the program.
Using the number of active participants in the activities of the program may indicate the success of the program. The events and activities of the program are planned to run annually. Success of the program can get evaluated on the consistency of the smooth running of events of the programs as planned. In addition, by running the program throughout the year within the budget, gives an indication of success as it translates responsible personnel. Henggeler and Schoenwald (2011) explain that the evaluation of a success suggests no effects of uncertain and small treatment advantage. The program operates in reference to its goals. One of the program’s goals is preventing crime from re-occurring in the future. In this way, the ability to evaluate the program’s effectiveness at preventing crime translates to the success levels of the program. Crime prevention can be controlled by the program in relation to the number of criminal events, criminal offenders, the amount of harm prevented, and the number of victims repeatedly harmed. Also related are the reduction of risk factors for crime and increasing protective factors (Blum et al., 2014).
4.3 Determine the Data Collection Methods That Will Be Used To Determine the Success of Your Program
Collecting new data where needed data does not exist is one of the successes of the program. Collecting new data has distinct advantages as greater control can get achieved over previous measures used. As such, the reliability and validity of these data may get increased. In order to determine the best data in defining the success of the program, there should be an assessment of the relative advantages and disadvantages of alternative approaches. New data can get collected through direct means that include direct observation, surveys, interviews and drawing information from administrative records. Direct observation has an advantage in that it provides opportunities of learning in details how the program works, its existing context and its various consequences. Therefore, it gives room for learning, hence determining the success of the program.
When evaluating the program, there could be forms of recording observation designed for the purpose of precise measurement and high reliability. In so doing, uniformity in procedures gets specified for purposes of counting events. Interviews get complemented with direct observations during visits to the sites that occur separately. In order to explain the success of the program, the interviews are made unstructured and open-ended. In some cases, the evaluation calls for focused data collection; a questionnaire can get developed. In this manner, it increases the reliability of the data as respondents answer uniformly phrased questions. Data collection from administration records can get used for programs operating within the criminal justice system (Howard, 2012). Focus groups can operate like data collection methods to determine the success of the program. The group can be guided by group discussions from similar backgrounds and facilitated by a moderator from the program. The facilitator guides the group to higher levels and depths on key issues. The focus group participants can be the youths and parents. Focus groups are a good way to pilot test strategies in the program before it spends more money in development.
4.4 Describe the Way to Collect and Respond to Feedback and Implementation Concerns
The data collection methods should be carefully tested as they should be valid and as reliable as possible. Clients should be ready for the data collection process and made aware of the data to get collected with their confidentiality assured. There are several approaches used for data collection. They include post-only measures where data gets collected once; at the end of the program. Secondly, pre/post measures where data gets collected twice. These are at the beginning and the end of the program. Thirdly, there is time series approach where data is collected several times during the ongoing program, and there is a follow-up. The fourth method entails measures with a comparison group. In this approach, the data is collected from the two groups; one group receives the intervention and the other does not. The approach is useful in demonstrating success of the intervention. Lastly, there are measures with a comparative standard approach. Here, data gets collected at the end of the program and compared with a standard.
Finding steadfast and trustworthy people in collecting and managing data is crucial. In addition to all this, a clear communication with the program staff in informing them on the process is necessary; clarification is vital. Advance advice to the clients increases their willingness to participate during implementation. In responding to feedback, there are a number of strategies used. First, strategy is a double entry, entailing setting up a system for data collection twice while comparing present discrepancies. Second is spot-checking. It entails the review of a random data sample and comparing it to the source document for other anomalies. After its discrepancies get discovered, the first thing is to identify patterns. Third, is sorting data to find missing, high and low values. It can happen by a single formulae or sorting functions. Fourth strategy is the use of automation such as drop down menus. Clients’ feedback yields positivity in implementation (Reese, Toland, Slone, Norsworthy, & Larry, 2010). They provide a standard way of reporting information, thus making it easier when sorting and analyzing data. Finally, there is discussing data discrepancies with the organization. It only applies if, after the implementation of these mechanisms, the discrepancies remain unexplained necessitating the need for clarification.
In order to implement the needed response of the client, interpretation of highlighted issues is important. It helps in attaching meaning to the analyzed data and putting the results in context drawing conclusions (Lambert, & Shimokawa, 2011). So that the implementation of the concerns of the respondents can occur, the program should establish cover budgets for the costs such as for the data collection instruments and reports from all centers. In addition, the budget should consider costs within the program concerning communication costs of telephone calls and postage. Other costs include incentive and rewards to individuals who turned positive to the anti-drug test as motivation to continue influencing the other members of the society to reduce and cease drug and substance abuse. Finally, processing data and reaching the need of the clients for the purpose of implementation may need funds hence the need for expanding the budget.
5.0 CHAPTER V
Incidences of drug trafficking and drug abuse in the Southern Border have reached critical levels. Drug use affects not only the individual consumers but the society as a whole. Drug addicts are a social burden since they are usually unemployed and are dependent on the working proportion of the population. Drug abuse also encourages criminal behaviors such as robbery and rape. The cost of drug abuse is incurred not by the victims only but by the whole society. This makes drug abuse a social concern a number of programs for the eradication of drug abuse have been proposed. One such program identifies the community as the starting point for the fight against drug abuse. Community-based programs are capable of assessing the extent of drug use in a specified locale. These programs can also be used to formulate and implement anti-drug policies. Programs that create awareness about harmful effects of drug abuse can also be used to curb this menace. Such programs may involve education and counseling, advertising and establishment of zero-tolerant policies to drug use in academic institutions.
Specific programs and agencies that fight drug abuse include the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, National Youth Anti-Drug Media, and National Drug Control Policy. High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program was created by the USA congress in keeping with the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988. It is a body of the government that collaborates with the federal, tribal, and state law enforcement agencies in reducing drug trafficking and drug use. It also offers intelligence information to the law agencies that enforce the Anti-Drug Abuse. This body corporates with both governmental and non-governmental organs that fight drug abuse. One of the agencies that it collaborates with is National Youth Anti-Drug Media.
5.1 Decide Which Type Evaluation is Appropriate and How Evaluation Results will be Used
Evaluation of a program ensures that the program achieves the purpose for which it was initiated. Evaluation determines the success of a program in achieving its objective and offers recommendations for improvement of the program, or for the creation of better programs (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013). Evaluation can be done before project implementation, during the execution of a project or on termination of a project. Projects are evaluated at inception to determine the viability of the project. The goals and objects are reviewed. Methodology and financial sustainability of the project should also be evaluated before the program is put into action. This type of evaluation is known as formative evaluation.
Process evaluation helps determine its success at achieving short-term goals. The ability of the project to achieve its long-term objectives can also be envisioned in this stage. Summative evaluation analyzes programs at their termination. Projects evaluation at the end of a program helps assess the effects of the project and to analyze its success in achieving the pre-set goals and objectives. Changes can then be made to the program so as to make it more effective in the future (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013).
Any of these types of evaluation can be applied in the assessment of the ability of anti-drug abuse programs to achieve its objectives. However, process evaluation is more suitable in assessing changes in drug use. It allows for constant analysis of the program. Changes can be made during the execution so as to create a program that best fits the situation on the ground. Drug abuse and drug trafficking are precarious criminal activities. The criminals tend to modify their activities to evade capture and recognition. A program that tracks them despite the metamorphoses of their activities is one that can withstand changes in its modes of operation. Process evaluation helps configure the activities of the programs to make them effective at reaching out to the ever-changing world of drug abuse (Sherman, et al., 1998).
Process evaluation will reveal the success, financial sustainability, social response of the program, and the legal implication of program implementation. A program that is not succeeding can be modified of terminated altogether. It is fiscally irresponsible to continue carrying out a failing program. Financial sustainability is another important result of process evaluation. Anti-Drug Abuse programs require adequate funding. Drug abusers and drug cartels are always hard to reach. It takes a lot of resources to delineate at contact the cartels. Therefore, Anti-Drug Abuse programs need to be heavily funded. Process evaluation will reveal the ability of a program to use its resources in achieving its objectives. It can also uncover other resources that would be necessary for successful program implementation. Programs that fight drug abuse do sometimes need help from law enforcement agencies and the government. The programs may also need to collaborate with other similar ones. Analysis of the program will identify such needs and offer recommendations of how the needs can be addressed.
Process evaluation can assess social response to a program. Programs that fight drug abuse are welcome by many people. The mode of operation of the project can also incite social unrest. Very few people will endorse programs that use of force to coax people to stop drug use. Programs that prosecute rather than rehabilitate drug addicts may not be readily welcome. Most of the Anti-Drug Abuse programs are meant to serve the society, not to cause suffering. Their methodology should be beneficial rather than threatening to the people they intend to serve. Programs that incorporate law enforcement agencies into is operations should assess the response of its target groups to these agencies. Most programs target drug-addicts who are considered to be criminals.
5.2 Identify Information System Capabilities of Systems Used to Gather Evaluation Data
Information systems refer to tools and people that process and analyze data. Evaluation is an important part of project management and must be carried out properly. Data derived from the evaluation are used to manage efficiently or modify a project. The specific types of information systems used to gather data depends on the methodology of the projects. However, there are general characteristics of information systems that can be applied to all anti-drug abuse campaigns.
Programs that fight drug abuse deal directly with people. The individuals who are implementing the project can gather information from these persons. This means that people make up an important part of the information system (Zang & Galletta, 2006). They gather views and opinions of the target population through questionnaires or other methods of research. These views are later used in the evaluation. Getting information from drug-users is never easy. Most drug-users are suspicious of people who question their drug-use. This makes this phase of the information system the hardest. People assigned tasks to gather information must be trained on how to identify and communicate with drug-abusers. They must know where to find their target population since drug-users are usually hard to locate (Winters). Drug addicts and cartels can be violent. Those gathering information may need extra security in the form of guns or escort by law enforcement agencies.
Fieldwork entails seeking opinions from the general population. People who are not necessarily drug-users can offer vital information about the program. It is much easier to get views from these people than from the drug-abusers. The assessors must ensure that people whose views they are seeking know about, or are involved in the program. Other parallel programs and government bodies can also offer important data for the program.
Data derived from the field should then be processed into useful information. Computer technology has made it easy to process data. The computer programs used to process data must be formulated with objectives of the evaluation in mind.
5.3 Describe the Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Used to Evaluate Program Data
Quantitative data are raw information with numerical values. It is mostly used in research that involves a large number of subjects. The results of this research are numbers that represent different topics of research (Mmari, 2006). The number of people who recover from drug addiction can be used to generate quantitative data for anti-drug abuse program. The programs can also quantify the number of people they tried to rehabilitate, the number of people who failed to quit abusing drugs as well as these who relapsed.
Qualitative data describes the occurrence of uncountable events. Such events are described by their characteristics (Mmari, 2006). In anti-drug-abuse programs, qualitative methods of data evaluation utilize properties such as clinical history of drug-addicts, health effects of drug rehabilitation and the psychological effects of drug abuse.
5.4 Designate Responsibility for Data Collection, Storage, and Analysis
Field workers can undertake data collection. These include trainers, health workers, and counselors. Their proximity to the target population puts them in a better position to collect data. Clerks and secretaries can be assigned the role of data storage. Staff in the information technology department can also feed data into relevant computer databases. Data analysis should be left for professionals with skills and experience in research methods and data analysis.
5.5 Develop Mechanisms to Provide Feedback to Staff, Clients, and Stakeholders
Anti-drug abuse programs should constantly inform relevant stakeholders about their progress in the fight against drug abuse. Their clients deserve to know how they are faring. The staff needs to know that the program objectives are being met and be kept up to date about any changes in modes of operation. Stakeholders have to know how the program is performing so as to continue funding and supporting it, or if to withdraw from it (UNITED NATIONS Office of Drug and Crime, 2003).
A fieldworker who gets in direct contact with the clients can update them about their progress in whatever activity they were undertaking. Clients can also get information about their status from the Internet or through mails. Staffs are closer to the program. They can get feedbacks during staff-briefings, via emails or memos. Stakeholders can receive feedbacks through postal mails.
5.6 Explain Ways to Assess the Relevance of Stakeholder Feedback
Stakeholders can respond to the performance of the program by giving advice, offering more financial support or even withdrawing financial support. Putting them into practical application can assess the importance of stakeholder recommendations. This way, their benefits can be readily realized. The recommendations can also be compared with the situation on the ground before they are applied practically. Increase in stakeholder funding is a sign that the program is faring well. Withdrawal of funding is ominous and calls for evaluation of the methodology of program operation.
6.0 CHAPTER VI
In the fight against drug and substance abuse in the United States, there are several strategies that ought to get adopted. These strategies aim at addressing the maintenance and change process elements that emerge during the fight against narcotics that are coming through from the southern border. The communication process between most of the key personnel, who are in charge of sensitive departments in the combat to counter drug abuse and trafficking, should be at its best to avoid leaks and misunderstandings. Cyclical evaluation of the whole process should be regularly done to identify changes in development and the accompanying problems to ensure no surprises in the future. Continuous collection of the feedback and recommendations from the concerned parties should be a priority in the maintenance of change. There should be proper identification of criteria for quality control in a bid to evaluate monitoring strategies on personnel and program operations. A complete re-assessment of the whole program would be important in a bid to identify all sorts of inadequacies and contradictions in the system and update any inconsistencies found.
6.1 The Communication Process among Key Personnel
The communication process among key personnel involved in the fight against narcotics should be effective and safe. The access to data should be easy for all the anti-narcotics stations along the southern border but be safe from the bandits and unauthorized personnel. In a bid to addressing the change and maintenance process, the program should have a safe and effective way of handling any changes. Additional intelligence analysts should be sent to these stations to assist in the analysis of the intelligence data acquired. Coupled with the additional operations specialists, collection requirement officers and report officers, it would make the anti-narcotics stations along the southern border more effective in monitoring of narcotics movement (Zang & Galletta, 2006).
A border intelligence unit should be established to monitor all the intelligence data and share it with other relevant government agencies. The impact of the unit would help in the monitoring of drug movements along the southern border and ensure most of the drugs do not enter the US. The unit would also offer technical and operational support to these stations in a bid to counter the movement of narcotics along the southern US border. Installing a data network that runs between all the stations would ensure the safety of all data collected. It would also make sure that all the stations share the information they have with the other stations and also the relevant government agencies. An open connectivity program among the anti-narcotics stations and government agencies should get established (Zang & Galletta, 2006). It would ensure the flow of information that is relevant in fighting narcotics movement and distribution into the United States. The information shared would get accessed by the relevant persons who are tasked with keeping illegal drugs in the US at bay. A move towards a common intelligence structure would be highly advised. It would ensure there is a common intelligence picture among all the associated agencies and personnel about the nature of the southern border.
6.2 The Importance of Cyclic Evaluation
The anti-narcotics program along the border has to be constantly evaluated and assessed to see if it is still effective in its mandate. The assessment has to occur in a certain cycle of events for it to be significantly effective describing the goals and objectives of the program. Goals have to be realistic and clearly stated making them easy to achieve. The assessment has to ensure that the program has accompanying activities in place that help in achieving the objectives. It must ensure there is a link between the activities and the goal of the program (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013). For it to perform its mandate efficiently, these activities must link well with the goals and, thus the assessment makes sure there is an efficient linkage. Constant evaluation develops performance measures that indicate whether the program is meeting the required expectations. The evaluation is done by comparing the achieved results with the objectives. The effects of evaluation ensure that the program remains productive. These measures, however, have to be realistic as at times the objectives do not get fully met, yet the program is to be considered successful.
Cyclic evaluation of the program should also occur as it helps identify future problems. These problems get identified beforehand and, thus the officers in charge device ways to counter them before they occur or deal with them once they occur. Evaluation and assessment of the program’s development changes is very crucial for the effectiveness of the program (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013). It takes into perspective the fact that changes are bound to happen and prepares it for future changes. An efficient model of evaluation should, therefore, be in place to deal with all the cases discussed that are bound to affect the performance of the anti-narcotics program along the southern border.
6.3 A System of Continuously Collecting Stakeholder Feedback
Collection of stakeholder feedback is an important part in the success of the program. Stakeholders in this case, are all those individuals and agencies that in one way or another take part in the business of narcotics either positively or negatively. Information received from such parties is crucial in the anti-narcotics program. Health facilities should have systems that constantly monitor controlled drugs that often get abused. Cases of drug abuse among patients should be reported to the relevant anti-narcotics agencies including those stationed at the southern border (Lambert & Shimokawa, 2011). Narcotics cases should involve multiple stakeholders like pharmaceutical departments and stores, security agencies including the police, anesthesiology, nursing, legal officers, and human resources departments in most companies. Once data from such stakeholders has gotten acquired, it is analyzed completely, and the reported cases investigated. The stakeholders may also offer criticism, either positive or negative, for the program in certain areas. The criticism should get addressed as a way of improving the program (Berge, Dillon, Sikkink, Taylor, & Lanier, 2012).
Effective data management teams and systems should be in place to handle all the feedback from the stakeholders. The information is effectively applied in the program while combating criminal narcotics at the southern border. The anti-narcotics officers on the ground and those analyzing this information should work together and root out some of the cases that may have been left unnoticed. The handling of stakeholder feedback is a significant process in the war against criminal narcotics distribution. The feedback from the stakeholders should be handled effectively for the program to be successful (Dasgupta et al., 2013).
6.4 Quality Control Criteria
The program has to come up with quality control criteria to determine which drugs are considered illegal and at what concentrations. The program should adopt some of the policies established by international agencies to counter the production of illegal and harmful drugs. With the adoption of these policies, the program has to come up with an effective criterion that identifies any drug coming through the southern border. Performing inspection of all the products that pass through the border should always take place through specified policies. The inspector critically examines the goods and establishes what they are and their intended use. If a product is suspected to be illegal, a sample is sent for analysis at the station’s laboratories to establish the makeup of the suspected product (Mmari, 2006).
The program has to adopt a table of rules on how the inspections should be carried out and what warrants further action. A checklist on minimum requirements of the products being checked is adopted. The checklist has to be in line with most international quality assurance policies (Mmari, 2006). The whole quality control criterion has to make references to the international laws on trade and quality assurance before it gets implemented. The criterion should also have a way of getting feedback from the agencies concerned in the drafting of these policies.
6.5 Monitoring Strategies to Identify Personnel or Program Performance
The program has to be constantly assessed in order to monitor its performance and that of its personnel. A successful program performance accounts for all the operations and resources with adequate results that show success. A strategy to evaluate the success in relation to the resources used should also get adopted (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013). The strategy should look at all the aspects of the program and determine if the program is proceeding according to the plan set to achieve its objectives
Monitoring the performance of the personnel is also significant in the determination of the program’s success and the success of the individuals in carrying out their duties. Monitoring personnel regularly involves checking on how they are performing their assigned tasks. A monitoring officer ensures all personnel are working towards the objectives of the entire program.
6.6 How the Program will reassess itself To Update/Correct Program Contradictions or Inadequacies
A successful program aimed at combating criminal narcotics activity along the southern border has to be reassessed from time to time, from start to finish, and it identifies inconsistencies, contradictions, and inadequacies. All the identified inconsistencies in relation to the program’s objectives are streamlined to be in line with the program’s goals. Where contradictions to its mandate are discovered, they are either eliminated or changed to comply with the program’s mandated objectives. Inadequacies noted are put across to the relevant bodies for adjustment (Agency for Clinical Innovation, 2013).
When all the stated proposals are adopted, it is correct to conclude that the program will be highly successful. Coming up with strategies alone is not enough to combat illegal narcotics activity. The adoption of all the proposed strategies would go a great length in fighting criminal narcotic activities. The relevant bodies in conjunction with the society should work together to ensure these strategies are implemented completely for the success in the fight against criminal narcotics activity along the southern border.
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