Discussion Question One
The main objectives of the program were to raise awareness as well as to educate on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. The program was also designed to educate the youth on how to subdue the influence of the social environment towards alcohol and substance abuse. Finally, the program was designed to educate the youth on financial and recreational time management in order to prevent the tendency towards the alcohol and substance abuse. The outcomes evaluation was performed based on these objectives.
At the end of the project, the literacy levels of the participants, especially on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. The outcomes evaluation was done through a written examination that was administered to the participants. The results of this evaluation were compared with the results in the baseline evaluation at the beginning of the project. The comparison of the results showed a marked improvement in the awareness of the participants on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse (Geshi et al., 2007).
The increased awareness on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse also lead to a change in the attitudes towards alcohol and substance abuse. In the baseline evaluation, I sought to determine the attitudes of the participants on whether alcohol and substance abuse merited as a social problem. The outcomes evaluation showed that more participants considered alcohol and substance abuse a social problem that required a concerted effort to solve. Additionally, the outcome evaluations showed that more participants would be willing to take part in other educational programs designed to raise awareness of the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. 78% of the participants committed to a challenge where for one year, they would not consume alcohol, use illegal substances and prescription drugs (National Drugs Campaign, 2013).
Through the implementation of the program, I learnt a number of lessons. Firstly, the design of the program incorporated many aspects without considering the amount of time available for the project and the literacy levels of the participants. Due to the low literacy levels, more time was required to comprehend each aspect of the health education program. I also learnt that diverse cultures have a bearing on the success and effectiveness of a health education program. Different cultures have different perspectives on issues of alcohol and substance abuse. As highlighted in the previous discussion, culture was one of the barriers (Timmerman, 2007). People form the Carribean region found it difficult to understand why marijuana was highlighted as one of the banned substances. Their influence on other participants was antagonistic to the achievements that the program hoped to achieve.
Discussion Question Two
If I were to design this program in the future, I would do a number of things differently. Firstly, I would reduce the scope of the program so as to increase its effectiveness and cover the various aspects of the program more comprehensively. This was a problem during the implementation of the program. The low literacy levels required more time on various aspects of the program (Singleton & Krause, 2009). Reducing the scope of the program would enhance the effectiveness and behavior change. Overcoming this challenge required the use of informative films and giving handouts.
If I were to design this program in the future, I would use other instructors in order to enhance better delivery. This could also be helpful with the barrier of low English proficiency, especially if the instructors are ethnically diverse. The current program used the peers to translate where communication was hampered by low proficiency in English. This might have affected the effectiveness of the program, especially because the peers were also there to learn. More instructors for the health lectures would also add credibility to the programs, especially if the instructors had different areas of expertise (Cairns et al., 2011).
Cairns, et al., G. (2011). Investigating the Effectiveness of Education in Relation to Alcohol: A Systematic Investigation of Critical Elements for Optimum Effectiveness of Promising Approaches and Delivery Methods in School and Family Linked Alcohol Education. Retrieved from> http://alcoholresearchuk.org/downloads/finalReports/FinalReport_ 0083.pdf
Geshi, M. et al., (2007). Effects of Alcohol-related Health Education on Alcohol and Drinking Behavior Awareness among Japanese Junior College Students: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Acta Medica Okayama,61(6): 345-354.
National Drugs Campaign (2013). How drug use can impact your life. Retrieved from> http://www.drugs.health.gov.au/internet/drugs/publishing.nsf/content/youth4
Singleton, K. & Krause, E. (2009). Understanding cultural and linguistic barriers to health literacy. The online journal of issues in nursing, 14 (3): Manuscript 4.
Timmerman, G. (2007). Addressing barriers to health promotion in underserved women, Family & community health, 30 (1): 34-42