Student Assistance Programs (SAPs)
These programs were designed after the success of Employee Assistance Programs. The aim of a SAP is to provide extensive “prevention and early intervention services” to youth that are especially vulnerable. The programs were implemented across all levels of schooling in America. Although the programs pay special attention to Children of Alcoholics, all high-risk children come under their purview. The programs are adapted to meet the specific requirements of a group while taking into consideration the availability of resources. Student counselors who have had prior experience are employed to provide their services at the school premises or community centers. Intervention steps are proposed to the students based on their particular inter-personal, socio-economic and substance abuse problem. The SAP ropes in school staff as well, so as to aid the counselors from outside with necessary input and to also help them coordinate the program better. Students can volunteer to attend the program or can be referred by parents or teachers (Bailey, et. al, 2004).
The SAPs have achieved remarkable success right since their initiation. Three reasons were cited for its success:
Firstly, the program’s “structure and process of identifying students” already into alcoholism and drug abuse and those vulnerable to it is a time-tested one. Secondly, the SAPs involve the community in all its programs. Thirdly, the aftercare support offered by the programs help the students reintegrate into society in a streamlined fashion.
Stress Management and Alcohol Awareness Program
Another equally successful program implemented by the American educational institutions. The program is a short-termed one lasting for 2 months based on early intervention. In the words of
“The framework is a person-centered, competency-building intervention that uses various psycho-educational techniques to strengthen children’s competence. These include the enhancement of self-esteem, provision of alcohol-related information, and emotion and problem-focused coping strategies. The process includes showing a film depicting experiences of alcohol addicted students to all students in the targeted grades, holding an informational follow-up meeting to discuss the film and explain the program, and finally extending an invitation to all children who are interested in participating.” (Emshoff, 1999).
Of late, the program incorporates lectures for students to help them gain coping skills. The personalized attention provided by the program is another reason for its success, as each student can apply prevention techniques that are applicable to his/her particular case. The following table, taken from (Emshoff, 1999) reveals the seriousness of the issue.
TABLE 2 Prevalence of Binge Drinking Among US High School Students Who
Report Drinking Alcohol According to Gender, 2003
Characteristic Boys (n = 3273), Girls (n = 3230),
% (95% Cl) % (95% Cl)
All respondents 67.4(65.0-69.8) 61.1(58.2-64.0)
12-14 y 48.9(41 8-56.0) 60.5(50.5-70.4)
15 17 y 67.8(65.3-70.3) 60.9(57.8-64.0)
[greater than or equal to] 74.0(69.5-78.3) 62.4(57.8-67.1)
9th 57.2(50.6-63.9) 54.6(47.2-61.9)
10th 66.8(62.1-73.5) 61.6(56.1-67.1)
11th 72.4(68.5-76.2) 64.1(59.9-68.4)
12th 71.9(68.3-75.6) 63.4(57.9-68.9)
White 71.6(69.1-74.0) 66.3(63.8-68.8)
Black or African American 48.7(41.7-55.7) 34.7(28.2-41.2)
Hispanic or Latino 65.7(60.0-71.5) 62.6(58.4-66.8)
Other (a) 63.1(49.5-76.6) 53.5(40.8-66.1)
Characteristic Total (n = 6543),
% (95% CI)
All respondents 64.2(61.8-66.6)
12-14 y 55.6(49.2-62.0)
15 17y 64.3(61.7-66.9)
[greater than or equal to] 68.7(65.5-71.9)
Black or African American 41 5(36.6-46.4)
Hispanic or Latino 64.1(60.0-68.1)
Other (a) 58.7(50.6-66.7)
Binge drinking is defined as having drank [greater than or equal to]
drinks of alcohol in a row on [greater than or equal to] 1 day during
the past 30 days.
"Drinking alcohol" is defined as having drank at least 1 drink of
alcohol on [greater than or equal to] 1 day during the past 30 days
(a) Includes American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian,
Pacific Islander, and multiracial.
Students Together and Resourceful (STR)