Aim: The aim of this paper was to use and evaluate the unplugged project, a school-based program of proven effectiveness aimed at the prevention of substance abuse based on social influence.
Methods: This project was conducted during the school-year 2011/2012; it involved the Local Health Unit (LHU)'s personnel specifically and adequately formed and was addressed to teachers working in the three districts of the LHU4 Chiavarese. The courses involved teachers in three consecutive days and provided both theoretical inputs and practical exercises designed to enpower skills and to make the same effective. As a whole, 25 teachers of the secondary schools (public and private) of first and second level were trained. Following the training, 14 curricular courses have been launched and 286 students have been involved.
Results: The teachers have mainly worked on personal and social components of their students, stimulating their critical assessment of standards and skills potentially transferable in everyday life. The benefits for students have been: establishment of the classroom, positive relationship with the teacher, empathy, decrease of conflicts, increased self-awareness and self-esteem, better school results. Besides, teachers benefit from increased respect, self-reliance and confidence, as well as acquisition of new skills.
Conclusion: Both the interest shown by teachers and the results achieved in classrooms have stimulated school leadership and personnel belonging to LHU4 Chiavarese to plan a new edition of the program the next autumn.