The development of drug education for young people in the UK has been the subject of various policy statements in recent years. With the publication of the Government White Papers research has drawn attention to the potential benefits of peer education as a method of drug prevention due mainly to the credibility of young people with their peers. This credibility might be based on age alone, or may also involve credibility stemming from the young person’s own drug use, past or present. This paper discusses issues relating to the effectiveness of peer drug education with particular reference to two evaluations carried out recently in South West England; brings together the most recent literature on peer education; and considers the appropriateness of different approaches in schools and youth work settings. This paper contributes significantly to the debate on the use of peer education as a health education approach.
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