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Basic Facts

Name

Unplugged (Izštekani)

Abstract

Unplugged is a school-based prevention programme based on the comprehensive social influence approach, targeted to adolescents aged 12-14 years and aimed to reduce the initiation, the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs. The programme consists of 12 lessons and lasts for three months. The content of the programme includes information about alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs, and combines life skills and normative beliefs. The programme is implemented by previously trained teachers, who are provided with all the necessary tools (handbook, workbook for students and teaching cards). Parents are also included in the programme. The participation of parents was really low (around 20 %), which led us to integrate this programme into prevention programme for parents called Effekt. EFFEKT (formerly the Örebro Prevention Program) seeks to reduce teenage alcohol use by changing the attitudes of their parents. Parents are encouraged to communicate zero-tolerance policies about alcohol use to their children. Information is disseminated to parents at school meetings at the beginning of each semester and through regular letters sent home throughout the middle-school year. Utrip institute started with the pilot implementation of this programme in school year 2014/15. (www.blueprintsprograms.com/factSheet.php?pid=e973a64ce098778bb7327fe57d8a607be981cbd3)

The programme has been evaluated in a large European collaborative randomised controlled trial (EU-Dap), conducted in seven European countries between 2004 and 2007. It has also been evaluated in Slovenia as a part of pilot implementation of the programme in school year 2010/2011. 48 Slovenian primary schools (26 in the intervention group and 22 in the control group) participated in the pilot phase. The effectiveness evaluation showed that the programme is effective at 3 months follow-up in preventing cigarette use, drunkenness episodes and use of cannabis among students aged 12-14 year. The effect on drunkenness and cannabis is maintained at a 1 year follow-up. UTRIP is the national centre of the Unplugged programme for Slovenia. At the moment, more than 30 schools across Slovenia still implement the curricula regularly or occasionally.

Funding

  • National/regional/local government
  • Swiss Government (Swiss Contribution)

Level

  • National

Aims

The Unplugged programme aims to reduce the prevalence of alcohol abusers, tobacco smokers and substance users among youth, curbing or delaying initiation and stopping transition from experimental use to addiction.

Development

Stakeholder Involvement

  • Intermediate target group
  • Government
  • Researchers
  • Civil society (NGOs)

Logic Model

Scientific: Unplugged is based on Social learning theory, Life skills theory, Health belief model, theory of Reasoned Action-Attitude and Social norms theory.

Past experience: The programme has been evaluated between 2004 and 2007 in the EU-Dap study, a large European collaborative randomised controlled trial, conducted between September 2004 and May 2007 in seven European countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain and Sweden, and involving 143 schools, 345 classes and 7,079 students.

Elements Of Plan

  • Literature review and/or formative research
  • Needs assessment
  • Detailed plan of action
  • Financial plan
  • Human resource management plan
  • Time schedule
  • Partners' agreement
  • Communication plan
  • Evaluation plan

Implementation

Time Frame

  • Periodic

Target Group

  • Adolescents
  • Parents

Communication Channel

  • Brochures/leaflets/items
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Meetings/conferences with experts/colleagues
  • Guidelines
  • Direct communication
  • Scientific publications

Core Activities

The programme is implemented by previously trained teachers, who are provided with all the necessary tools (handbook, workbook for students and teaching cards). Trainings are organised by the UTRIP Institute at least twice a year. In June 2012, the UTRIP Institute issued a document entitled "Guidelines and Recommendations for School-based Prevention", which presents in detail some of the key assumptions of effective school-based prevention and basic principles that schools can use in practice or to develop and implement high-quality prevention programmes. Guidelines and recommendations are available in English and Slovenian on the EMCDDA website as an example of good practice in the field of standards and guidelines: www.emcdda.europa.eu/themes/best-practice/standards/prevention.

Supportive activities

  • Training
  • Promotional leaflet

Evaluation

Responsibility

Internal & External

Type

  • Process
  • Impact
  • Outcome

Results

Evaluation results show that the programme was very successful in the intervention group of schools in comparison with the control group. The comparison was made based on the initial situation and the evaluation carried out four months after the implementation of the programme in the intervention group. Results show that smoking, occasional drinking, frequent drinking and intoxication as well as marijuana use and the use of other illicit drugs decreased significantly among students who participated in the implementation (intervention group), while it had not changed much among students in the control group.

If we compare these data to the initial situation, also as regards the predictions of children about their future use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, we find that the Unplugged programme has significantly reduced the actual use in the intervention group.

Follow Up

There is a follow-up evaluation planned in the next two years.

Additional Information

Contact

Contact person: Mrs Sanela Talić

Organization: Institute for Research and Development "Utrip"

Address: Vošnjakova ulica 1, 1000 Ljubljana

Country: Slovenia

Telephone number: +386 31 6574 12

E-mail address: sanela@institut-utrip.si

Additional remarks

Last change: 01. 09. 2016 - 14:46, created: 16. 08. 2016
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