In the first part of this series, we asked the question: Are ADETS programs in North Carolina effective at preventing DWI’s?
Here, we look at the goals and outcomes of the ADETS program as well as how it is designed to help reduce the number of accidents, injuries, deaths and crimes caused by people who use drugs and alcohol.
Methods of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Intervention & Prevention
To understand where ADETS programs fit into the overall system of care for people who abuse drugs and alcohol, let’s look at the different methods used to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.
- Awareness & Prevention: Encourage a lifestyle and environment conducive to healthy choices, where the individual identifies with the non-abusing population who have no problems with alcohol or other drugs. At this stage a person may have used drugs or alcohol and the goal is to prevent them from misuse and abuse.
- Intervention: Alcohol or other drug use has become a problem which requires education or other treatment to prevent further use/abuse.
- Treatment: Intended to help addicted individuals stop compulsive drug seeking and use. Treatment can occur in a variety of settings, take many different forms, and last for different lengths of time.
Education is an important component in the success of ADETS programs. The goal of an effective ADETS program is to educate students on the risks and consequences of misusing or abusing alcohol and drugs, with the ultimate goal of providing them with the tools and information they need to make better choices in life. Many times an ADETS student has already been convicted of a crime such as DWI, possession of an illegal substance or other alcohol-drug related offense, and the intervention components of the curriculum are designed to help prevent repeat offenses. The same intervention and prevention curriculum is also effective at preventing someone from committing a crime at all once they are aware of the danger involved with drug and alcohol abuse. This makes ADETS ideal for awareness and education programs for youth and young adult programs.
ADETS programs facilitated in North Carolina focus on how to help students make the right choices in life when faced with situations that involve using drugs or abusing alcohol. The program is designed to approach real life, everyday challenges which allows the student to be a part of the whole process. In this way, they can see how the lessons and objectives can be applied to their own lives, each of which are unique.
Through self assessments, the program allows students to come up with their own plan to stop abusing drugs and alcohol. The class also involves group discussions and open dialogues during instruction so students have a chance to participate. In our own ADETS classes, we have found this extremely successful because it helps break the ice and encourages students to open up about something that could otherwise be embarrassing.
This also allows students to see us as supporters and encouragers and not distant instructors or lecturers. The main objective of this style of facilitated instruction is to help students see themselves as responsible for correcting their behavior for long term results.
As indicated in the curriculum, “As a result of the ADETS Program, offenders will be able to identify a personal substance usage plan reflective of an informed self-assessment, resulting in the avoidance and/or reduction of substance usage related consequences, including recidivism, and thereby making the highways, roads and streets of North Carolina safer places for all citizens.”
The ADETS Program
The content of the program has 5 key components:
- Setting/establishing the goals of the program
- Teaching facts about mood altering substances such as drugs and alcohol
- Student Assessment – applying the facts about drugs and alcohol to personal life
- Development of a personal usage/life plan
- Life after the ADETS program
We believe ADETS programs are effective in preventing DWI’s as well as repeat offenses. In our next part of this series, we will share client evaluations from our own facility that support our view on how a program like ADETS helps open people’s eyes and encourages them to make better choices and live healthier, drug-free lives.