Parents aren’t the only influencers in steering teens away from dangerous drugs in Palm Beach County.
Teachers play a vital role, too.
It’s a known fact that students who are engaged in school do better on test scores, act better in the classroom and at home, and have a better chance of avoiding trouble and building a good future. And pivotal to that equation is keeping youth away from drugs.
Schools share responsibility with families and the wider community in educating our young people about health and drug issues.
School-based drug education programs can help students gain knowledge and understanding about the complex issues involved in drug use. They can give students opportunities to practice skills such as assertive communication and refusal skills of saying “no” to drugs. And teachers help students build a positive sense of self-worth, personal identity and hope, and develop values that promote healthy lifestyles.
It’s also in the classroom of public and private schools that students can learn what drugs can do to their young bodies and brains. There are many teaching guides that include turnkey lessons and worksheets on providing young people with facts and tools to make smart choices.
Here are several guides to help teachers, guidance counselors and coaches incorporate anti-drug education into a wide range of school-related activities:
"Rx for Understanding": Resource Guide & Curriculum This new curriculum, developed by the NEA Health Information Network, is designed to help educate students in grades 5-8 on topics such as the differences between proper use, misuse and abuse of prescription medicine and tips for a healthy lifestyle. There’s also a send-home letter for parents with steps to help prevent and address medicine abuse.
NIDA for Teens: Parents and Teachers Information and lesson plans from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) help teachers engage students about the consequences of drug abuse and addiction. You’ll find “Mind Over Matter,” a teacher’s guide for grades 5-9 to learn about the biological effects of drug abuse, a prescription medicine abuse fact sheet and quiz - along with other drug-related classroom activities.
Not Worth The Risk, Even If It’s Legal: What Educators Need to Know Not Worth The Risk, Even If It’s Legal: What Educators Need to Know This resource encourages health teachers, coaches, guidance counselors and mentors to have honest conversations with their students and empowers them to play an active role in helping curb teen medicine abuse.
And Palm Beach County teachers can do more to encourage drug-free education, such as:
Support Palm Beach County Substance Awareness Coalition’s School Bus Poster Contest >.
Join one of our task forces and make a difference in shaping local drug policies.
As we know, teachers are an important part of educating our teens about how drugs affect their bodies, brains, and behaviors. But it’s up to all of us to keep young people talking and thinking about avoiding destructive behaviors.
The more knowledgeable our local teens are, the smarter their decisions.