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MERLOT II


    

Peer Review


Tackling Volatile Substance Abuse in Scotland

by
 

Ratings

Overall Rating:

5 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 5 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Mar 04, 2013 by Criminal Justice Editorial Board
Overview: In this resource on volatile substance abuse one will find detailed information about solvent and volatile substance abuse, together with a range of materials that you will be able to download and refer to again and again. This site also contains audio interviews, videos, fact sheets and in-depth training materials that you’ll be able to take away and use in the training of others. The the resource material (which can be viewed as a training course) was designed for use by staff within Scottish social work departments but others with an interest in substance abuse by young people will find the material practical and useful. Individuals need not necessarily be trained in substance misuse issues, but they may be best placed to work with or around individuals who are vulnerable to substance misuse or to recognize those currently using substances and thereby support the assessment process of individuals.
Learning Goals: Goals for learners would be to understand the context and risks of substance abuse, learn how to communicate those risks to others, and provide assessment on a case by case basis. The primary goal of this site is to train and educate social work employees (in Scotland)but it could be used in classes as an example of a training tool. The information can be used by those involved in working with those battling addictions or is useful for those in helping-related educational and training programs.
Target Student Population: Lower and upper level college students, graduate students studying in fields such as social work and substance abuse, and professionals in criminal justice and substance abuse occupations.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Basic computer skills to navigate around the web site. Additional skills with certain software will be required if documents along with audio and video files are downloaded.
Type of Material: Reference Material
Recommended Uses: Homework, individual, group projects/review.
Technical Requirements: * Browser * There are audio clips and videos along with documents that are part of resource material but can be listened to and viewed within the material without additional software. All audio, videos and document material can be downloaded and will require additional software: 1) All documents are in the PDF format and will require Adobe Reader, 2) All audio files are in the MP3 format and will require compatible software, and 3) All video files will require a media player that supports MPEG-4 video codec such as Quicktime or Real Player.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The depth of the material presented is extensive and include topics such as substance recognition, risks, communication, assessment, intervention and referrals, prevention, and medical emergencies. Information is well cited, references are provided, and is current and relevant to anyone who works with those at risk of volatile substance use. The depth of each of the topic areas is great and the use of documents along with audio and video presentations is very good.
Concerns: Limited to Scotland laws and products.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: All material presented whether it be information on a web page, a document, an audio file, or a video is easy to understand. All material follows a logical progressions starting at substance recognition and ending with discussions of medical emergencies. Those with advanced knowledge can easily move around the material without having to go through each module to fully understand the presentations. Additionally, the depth of resource material available to support the modules is extensive and can be used along with the module material or independently.
Concerns: None.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: The pages included in the web site are pleasing to the eye and include text in a variety of fonts and sizes along with clear backgrounds that are enhanced by various images and access to resource material (documents, audio presentations, and video presentations). Tabs are easily followed, no directions are necessary for navigation.
Concerns: None.

Other Issues and Comments: There is a terrific reference section to this resource on volatile substance abuse including books and reports, articles, web sites, documents available from several Scottish organizations, and other material. The site is very informative and is excellent to use for students at both a graduate and under-graduate level as well as new/future employees that may work with individuals either at risk for or currently engaged in volatile substance use or abuse. While the orientation of the material is based on issues in Scotland, much of the material can be applied to similar issues and concerns in other counties and can serve as excellent reference material.