Drug and alcohol usage among teens is a serious problem that many people don't realize exists. It's something that doesn't get the awareness it needs. That's why Legacy Freedom is here to talk with you about prevention for schools and how it can help fight this alarming issue that is getting worse.
In our previous blog post we talked about fighting substance abuse in the community. One of the biggest advantages community leaders have within their area is the school system. It's a great way to implement a prevention program that will both educate teens as well as offer them a place to hang out with their friends without worrying about being faced with substance abuse pressures.
School is a home away from home to many students. That being said, it's also a place to educate. Using programs to help educate and prevent drug and alcohol issues in schools is key in making sure our kids know how dangerous it is to drink or use drugs at a young age. Knowledge is power. Without it, our teens might never think twice about using and could need drug and alcohol rehab in Asheville NC.
We often assume that parents teach children all they need to know about drugs and alcohol use, and why it's important to say no. Honestly, many parents aren't sure how to go about teaching their kids in an effective way. We all know how teens can be at times. They're moody and think they know everything. It's a sort of rite of passage that often drives parents crazy. That doesn't mean, however, they aren't trying to educate their kids on the risks of substance abuse. This is just one more reason why drug and alcohol prevention in schools is key. Sometimes, teachers are the only adults students will listen to. If you know someone that needs drug and alcohol rehab in Asheville NC, call Legacy Freedom. We can help them.
- Daily marijuana users were 60 percent less likely to graduate high school and college than students who never used the drug, according to a study published in The Lancet Psychiatry, a journal covering health research.
- Most students don't take things seriously when it comes to health risks from using drugs.
- Simply talking with teens about not using drugs or alcohol isn't enough. It's working less and less as time goes on.
- Most schools have a "zero tolerance" policy regarding drug and alcohol offenses, according to the National Association of School Psychologists.
- According to the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (niost.org), students who spend time in extracurricular activities are 49% less likely to use drugs.
- Without engagement in extracurricular activities, adolescents have a higher likelihood of dropping out of school, becoming pregnant, joining gangs, pursuing or increasing their use of drugs, and/or engaging in other risky behaviors.
How Do We Teach Prevention in Schools?
The facts above lead us to believe that discussions about using drugs and alcohol aren't working. Talking about the negative impact they have on us as teens is also ineffective. However, zero tolerance policies aren't working in schools if more than half of their students are using drugs on a daily basis. Something has to work better than lecturing.
As we also saw in the facts above, teens who engage in extra activities are less likely to use drugs or drink alcohol. That said, offering substance abuse prevention programs for teens to join will not only help them learn about drug and alcohol use, addiction and health risks of using, it will also offer them extra activities that will also keep them occupied. They'll meet new friends as well.
According to drugabuse.gov, "prevention programs should address all forms of drug abuse, alone or in combination, including the underage use of legal drugs (e.g., tobacco or alcohol); the use of illegal drugs (e.g., marijuana or heroin); and the inappropriate use of legally obtained substances (e.g., inhalants), prescription medications, or over-the-counter drugs."
They should also address drugs in the community and risk factors for using both drugs and alcohol during adolescence. These programs will not only educate our teens but also give them a safe place to hang out with friends, without facing peer pressure or other friends that are using.
There are multiple different prevention programs already taking place, all over the U.S. Below, you'll find some of the most successful ones.
- Adolescent Transitions Program (ATP)
- Adolescents Training and Learning to Avoid Steroids (ATLAS)
- Caring School Community Program (Formerly, Child Development Project)
- Classroom-Centered (CC) and Family-School Partnership (FSP) Intervention
- Coping Power
- Early Risers “Skills for Success” Risk Prevention Program
- Fast Track Prevention Trial for Conduct Problems
- Focus on Families (FOF)
- Guiding Good Choices (GGC) (Formerly, Preparing for the Drug-Free Years)
- Life Skills Training (LST) Program
- Lions-Quest Skills for Adolescence (SFA)
- Project ALERT
- Project STAR
- Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND)
- Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS)
- Reconnecting Youth Program (RY)
- Skills, Opportunity, And Recognition (SOAR) (Formerly, Seattle Social Development Program).
- The Strengthening Families Program (SFP)
- The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth 10–14 (SFP 10–14)
One of the best ways to get started researching prevention programs and how you can incorporate them into the school system where you live is by talking with leaders of these programs. Ask them questions and get involved in their online programs, if possible.
Researching prevention programs will be the best first step to ensuring our teens are able to learn and understand how important substance abuse prevention is at their age.
Will a Program Work?
Finding out whether or not the programs you implemented into schools is challenging. There are a series of questions you can ask during a follow-up meeting with leaders, according to drugabuse.gov:
- What was accomplished in the program?
- How was the program carried out?
- How much of the program was received by participants?
- Is there a connection between the amount of program received and outcomes?
- Was the program run as intended?
- Did the program achieve what was expected in the short term?
- Did the program produce the desired long-term effects?
Do you know of any prevention programs already in place in your area? Do they work? If so, how? If not, what happened? It's important to do whatever it takes to bring awareness to adolescent substance abuse and how dangerous it is during teen years. If you're interested in learning more about fighting substance abuse in teens, be sure to visit back with our previous blog post.
Drug And Alcohol Rehab in Asheville NC For Teenagers | Legacy Freedom
If your teen son or daughter is suffering from a substance abuse problem, it's time to get them some help. While it’s easy for them to believe they are alone in this struggle that is the farthest thing from the truth. There are numerous teens and young adults dealing with addiction, all over the world. Regardless of how bad drug or alcohol use has become, help is always available. Contact Legacy Freedom if your teen needs drug and alcohol rehab in Asheville NC. We are here to help them get back on track to a healthier, happier life.