Prescription Drug Abuse in School

Indicators of School Crime and Safety published an article that revealed alarming statistics. 25 percent of 9th through 12th grade students reported someone had offered or sold them drugs on campus. Kids can get opiates, stimulants, sedatives and tranquilizers at school—all prescription drugs. To battle this growing problem, experts are coming up with ways for educators to encourage kids to be drug free.

Skills for Success

The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention reports that kids who do well in school are more likely to remain drug free. More telling, a student’s performance in elementary school could be indicative of whether or not they use drugs as teens. One government program, Early Risers ‘Skills for Success’ Program, enrolls at-risk kids aged 6 to 10. Videos, books and puppets were used in weekly class demonstrations to help the students build confidence, and resist bad behaviors like crime, drug abuse and skipping school.

After three years, students who participated in the program showed favorable improvement in their attitude toward early-onset drug use.

Too Good For Drugs

Too Good for Drugs is an intervention program for kindergarten through eighth-grade students. This school-based, drug prevention curriculum employed 30 to 60-minute lessons with posters, games, CDs and other visual aids. Music, physical education and language arts activities were used to engage the kids in a thorough, anti-drug curriculum. After 20 weeks, significant improvement was noted with participating students. They developed more skills to resist negative behavior and peer-pressure, and the confidence to disapprove substance use amongst friends.

Project Toward No Drug Abuse

The Project Toward No Drug Abuse, for 14 to 19-year old students, is an interactive program taught by health educators to help high school students resist substance abuse. The program uses motivational activities, social-skills training, and decision-making lessons over a four-week period. The program goal is to steer kids away from using drugs and promoting healthier activities. Results show that kids who received the intervention showed about half the monthly drug use frequency one year after the completion of the program.

Why Kids Use Prescription Drugs

A National Survey on Drug Use and Health showed that in the previous month, 6 percent of 12 to 17 year old kids, had tried prescription drugs for recreational use. Why kids use these drugs is simple: they think they’re safer than street drugs like heroin and cocaine. When a kid can get Ritalin from a sibling or Vicodin from their mom’s medicine cabinet, it doesn’t seem as risky as buying drugs from a dealer. Experts are encouraged, though. Research show that kids who learn about the risks of substance abuse are 50 percent less likely to use drugs, thanks in part to new school programs and parental intervention.

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