Substance use (and abuse) is endemic to the culture that we have created, and we are not going to extract it from that culture; that would be impossible. This statement is supported by several studies, including one commissioned by the Justice Department, showing that programs like D.A.R.E., and D.A.R.E., in particular, do not work. The primary reason that these programs do not work is that, no matter what sort of preamble children receive, the exposure is not only there, but a constant within the context of their development.
For kids, inappropriate substance use is a symptom of the underlying decision making process. Part of development and individuation for children is learning to make good decisions, often by making mistakes. By addressing the context -- choice points and consequences -- rather than the content -- drinking and drugging -- we can, as parents and teachers, motivate and shape behavior, rather than setting up a ‘good' versus ‘evil' scenario that is driven by fear, as opposed to understanding.
Here's a tale that I repeat often. I have a client who has been sober for 21 years. He used to be the town drunk (small town). Time was that he could walk into any one of the many establishments in town and there would be a beer on the bar before his bum hit the stool. One day, he walked into one of his favorite watering holes and was told by the bartender, "There's no Budweiser, let me make you a Long Island Iced Tea; he agreed. Just as she put the drink on the bar, the bar-back appeared, case on his shoulder, announcing that the ‘beer guy' had finally arrived. No sooner was it that the case hit the floor than there was beer, along with the Iced Tea, sitting in front of my client.