Drug education games for youth

Drug Education Games for Youth
Heitor Martins Pasquim, Master of Science; Cassia Baldini Soares, PhD;
& Ricardo Santoro, Bachelor in Psychology

Publicado originalmente em Social Medicine (www.socialmedicine.info) Volume 10, Number 2, August, 2016

Background: This integrative review aims to explore the goals of drug education games for youth and to propose recommendations based on a collective health framework. Methods: A database search was conducted of five Indexes and grey literature, using the following inclusion criteria: theoretical, observational, experimental, or qualitative studies that described or analyzed educational games to prevent or treat drug use in young individuals (15–29 years of age). Results: Eight different games were presented in 16 articles. The games were used in public schools and psychiatric hospitals. They are designed to persuade and capture the attention of young individuals. Educational games were produced mostly by research institutions and supported by grants from public institutions. Results indicate that the majority of games were designed to teach specific skills and to convey information. Overall, they do not allow for creative or unexpected answers, although a few exceptions were found. These games also ignore economic, historical, and cultural aspects of the drug phenomenon, thus aligning with the ideology of the War on Drugs. Conclusions: Despite their flaws, the games have potential applications that allow us to recommend them in daily practice as useful methods to support a broader and more analytical educational process.

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