PASS: School-based prevention addressing cannabis culture-related beliefs*

Søren Holm*, Janne Tolstrup

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This paper presents the rationale and content of PASS, a Danish school-based prevention program targeting cannabis-culture-related beliefs among high school students (i.e. typically 15–19 years). The objective of the program is to prevent or delay initiation of cannabis use and limit use among students who already initiated. PASS is a combined social competence and social influence curriculum consisting of five 90-min modules. The program is combined of a unique conceptual framework integrated in a theoretical model based on well-established theory and evidence-based methodologies. The unique conceptual framework offers a novel approach to school-based prevention by introducing the concepts of normalisation, neutralisation and glorification. The assumption is that normalisation, neutralisation and glorification are important predictors of cannabis use and that prevention approaches can benefit from targeting these factors. The conceptual framework and the theoretical model of the PASS program are presented in this paper. Although PASS presents a novel conceptual framework, the theoretical model behind the program is based on well-established theory and the program curriculum integrates evidence-based methodologies from the field of drug prevention. In this paper, we address some of the challenges of adapting evidence-based methodologies to a Danish cultural setting. Because the effects of PASS are uncertain, until supported by empirical evidence, a rigorous evaluation of the program is required prior to any dissemination.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)164-172
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • cannabis
  • high school
  • Prevention
  • program curriculum


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