The primary drug abuse prevention in (pre)school education – The role of parents, preschool teachers and social environment


Taking the developmental-humanistic paradigm as a starting point, the authors call for necessary change of the preschool children parents’ position and their role in the primary drug abuse prevention at the individual-family and social levels. The socially marginalized significance of parents (and preschool teachers) in the realisation of one of the modern society basic task – stimulating children’ healthy development, contributes to the expansion of the various asocial behaviours, psycho-somatic illnesses, and adolescents’ drug abuse. The health-care and social services issue a stern warning to the lowering of the age of the first drug use towards the senior grades students of the elementary school. The case of ten years old child with drug abuse problem is registered, and even younger children with the same problem. Everyday family and education practices lead to the conclusion that a lot of parents and teachers (as well as preschool teachers) are not ready (not competent) to meet the children and youth’s requirements and problems if they occur. At the same time environment often gives only declarative support, while the support is insufficient or missing at the level of the children and parents’ actual needs. From The national strategy of drug abuse prevention for the period from 2006 to 2012 in Republic of Croatia point of view, the educational institutions are expected to promote the active parents’ participation in the school functioning and their more intensive involving in the prevention activities. This paper points out the significance, necessity and some possibilities in the creation and organisation of the primary prevention activities beginning in the preschool developmental period, which are necessarily based on the high-quality family and kindergarten environments, as well as on the hypothesis of high-quality primary prevention curriculum of asocial children and youth behaviours. 

Keywords: drug abuse prevention, preschool children development, family relations, competences, preschool teachers, preschool education. 

Ph.D. Jasminka Zloković, M.Sc. Diana Nenadić-Bilan