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As an addiction professional, you may contribute to social change in a variety of ways. For example, you may educate clients and families, engage in local community and political agendas to help those in need, and connect with other professionals in the field across the city, state, or nation. In addition, you might work to limit social agendas that may potentially hurt clients, families, and communities at large.
Individuals, groups, governments, school systems and communities aim to advocate for people in need through the use of social programs. For example, the Drug Abuse Awareness and Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program designed by Nancy Reagan in the 1980s was a social program with the goal of keeping kids away from alcohol and drugs. This program was used in nearly 80% of school districts in the United States where police officers were tasked with educating school-aged children about the dangers of using alcohol and drugs. Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, some social change programs are ineffective and fail to accomplish what they set out to do. D.A.R.E. has reportedly been ineffective and was sometimes shown to be counterproductive (Hanson, n. d.).