Influence in Action Program Results

Program Objectives

Influence in Action is a peer-mediated program designed to encourage informed decision-making by young people with a focus on cannabis use. The program targets grade 10 and grade 7 students. The focus of the program is ensuring that everyone has accurate information to allow for informed decision-making regarding their life choices with a particular focus on cannabis and it can readily be adapted for a different emphasis. The program is based on the idea that certain people have a natural influence over their peer group (Bleeker & Silins, 2008). These peer influencers have a degree of authority over their peer group because their peers listen to what they say, respect their opinions, and follow their actions.

The main objective of this program focuses on the development of participants' critical thinking and communication skills with the intention that these skills will assist participants and the peers they influence in making informed decisions. Peer-mediated programs addressing drug use have been conducted in other countries and are well-supported in previous research.

The ongoing evaluation allows students and staff of participating schools and youth centres to share information about their experiences with the Influence in Action program, with all individual names and experiences kept confidential. Results from participants at all of the Influence in Action sites will contribute to improvements in the program, and the information we collect is summarized in reports, which may be published in scientific journals, program reports, websites, or conference presentations. In this way, your responses can contribute to programs, policy, and research related to youth engagement, peer intervention programs, and harm reduction. We share the results from this project with each participating site on an ongoing basis through our web site.

Program Outcomes

The results of the program include the following:

  • Development of a peer-led implementation program to reduce the experimentation, uptake and use of illicit drugs among elementary and secondary schools in Canada
  • An evaluation of the program to date
  • Adult Training Manual and Youth Manual for replicating the Influence in Action Program across the country
  • Web-based toolkit and networking with promotion, disseminations and evaluation tools and training materials
  • Conference event opportunities for adults and youth influencers.


The Students Commission