Applications of Community Psychology to Homelessness

One of the goals of the City of Chicago’s Health Department is to develop ways to decrease teenage drug use.Since the number of adolescents who use illegal drugs is growing rapidly, new and innovative prevention methods must be experimented with in order to solve the problem.Approaching the issue of teenage drug use from Gerald Caplan’s prevention perspective will bring about the new and innovative results needed to effectively address this issue.Gerald Caplan (1964) is known as the individual who used the term prevention as a specific program in the mental health lexicon.According to Caplan, there are three distinct types of prevention; primary, secondary and tertiary.In this essay I will use the three main types of prevention as described by Caplan in the textbook Community Psychology – Linking Individuals and Communities to develop three prevention programs that the Health Department could use to address the issue of teenage drug use.
Thefirst type of prevention to be addressed in this essay is primary prevention.The basic ideal behind this intervention is to stop the problem before it becomes a problem.At the primary level intervention is given to entire populations when they are not in need or distress.This is usually done to prevent the occurrence of new cases, especially when the problem is considered to be an epidemic.Before a problem or circumstance has the ability to cause harmful effects on a community, a community psychologist will take a proactive approach and intervene to reduce the chance of future difficulties.Another way to look at primary prevention is to consider it intervention given to all people in a particular setting regardless of the need for the intervention.Examples of primary prevention would be to vaccinate all children for polio and other common diseases even though the children have not shown any signs of the disease and may not have a particularly high chance of contracting th…

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