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UpFront Philosophy

UpFront Philosophy


A Positive Environment Goes a Long Way

Our philosophy is simple-we believe that by creating positive, mutually respectful relationships between students and practitioners we support the students ability to think critically, come to a greater understanding of the world and their place in it, internalize and ultimately act on that new information. This offers an organic, positive, and effective method of presenting any prevention/intervention/treatment information and strategy. Although we do this by providing the levels of service that best fit the school or site, we believe it is our process of implementing these various levels that makes our program unique and highly effective. In doing so we address drug related issues from an environmental perspective that includes all students, not just those identified as "at risk", as well as faculty and administration in program design and implementation. Our beliefs and goals are as follows:

  • We work to increase understanding of drugs and their effects, support responsible behavior, and reduce risk and harm.
  • We identify all students as being at risk, as drug use is endemic in our culture and world.
  • We respect the rights of all students to make choices regarding their lives and drug use.
  • We believe that creating mutually respectful relationships is key to providing effective health education. This means we must respect, value and build upon the knowledge students already have.
  • Drug use does not = drug problem. Drug use does = risk.
  • Risky behavior does not = problem.
  • We believe all students need to explore drug-related issues. All will use drugs or know someone who does.
  • We work to reinforce the similarities between all students by creating an inclusive discussion environment.
  • We are committed to providing complete information. We believe that the science of substance use, accurately reported, contains the most honest and effective prevention messages.
  • We believe demonization and romanticization of the realities of drug use are equally dangerous.
  • We believe in focusing on the nature of the relationship between the person and the drug or process.
  • We believe youth must feel ownership of the discussions. If we are successful at creating open dialogue, students will ask for what they need.