Dutch version of "Just Say No" fails miserably

The "say no to alcohol" course of Halt has no effect. The course was intended to help young people stop drinking, but an evaluation by Bureau Beke shows that 6 months later the participating young people drank just as much and as often as before the course, Metro Nieuws reports.

The course was introduced in 2006 for young people who have committed a criminal offence. During the 6 hour course they were taught how to deal with peer pressure and how to say "no" when they are offered alcohol. Parents were also involved in the course. They were informed about the effects of alcohol on the body of their children during a two and a half hour course.

The idea was that children would use the knowledge they gained in the course and decide to drink less. But that appears not to be the case. The course also do not seem to have an effect on the parents as they often do not think differently about their children's drinking behavior.

"The goals were also very ambitious", researcher Henk Ferwerda of Bureau Beke concludes, according to Metro Nieuws. ""Especially for a program that only lasted a few hours. It is important that young people get caught and punished. Ant the parental involvement is important, but that too was not improved by a few hours."