Drug and Alcohol Prevention Must Start in Our Schools

Drug and Alcohol Prevention Must Start in Our Schools

Drinking alcohol or using other drugs often starts when individuals are still teenagers, or even younger. Where do our teenagers spend a great deal of their day? Well, at school (at least that is where they are supposed to be), and that is why it is essential that our schools are actively involved in providing drug and alcohol prevention programs.  As individuals experiencing problems with drug and alcohol use seem to get younger each year, these programs must start earlier and earlier. As a result, drug and alcohol prevention programs must occur within all levels of schooling, including elementary school, middle school, and high school.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Cutting Off the Problem Before It Starts

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Cutting Off the Problem Before It StartsMany drug and alcohol prevention programs aim to prevent individuals from ever experiencing issues with drugs and/or alcohol. The best way to deal with drug and alcohol issues is not to wait until they actually become a problem, but to prevent them from occurring in the first place.

This can be a difficult sell to students, as alcohol is often considered acceptable across the generations, and underage drinking does not receive the same disapproval as other behaviors. Drinking is acceptable within the adolescent world, and changing this norm will be extremely difficult. However, we must continue to try, and believe that one day we can change the perception.

Our students are bombarded through media and advertising on the "positive" effects of drinking alcohol and using other drugs. It is portrayed as a method to forget one's problems and be happy. Drug and alcohol use is shown as acceptable and helps individuals be more popular and well-liked.
Overcoming an addiction to alcohol or drugs is extremely difficult, so preventing the problem before it occurs seems to be the superior method. Prevention is also preferred as any form of abuse can have long-lasting effects on an individual, even after they stop the abuse of the substance.

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Collaborative Effort

Drug and Alcohol Prevention - Collaborative EffortStudies indicate that the most successful drug and alcohol prevention programs involve both school personnel and parents. For these programs to experience success in reducing the use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, schools and parents must work together through on-going communication and cooperation. The two groups need to continually monitor the situation and provide alternative activities to keep our children and teenagers active.

Drug and alcohol prevention programs need to look at the influences in our students' lives that encourage the use of these substances. We need to remember that the teenage mind does work the same way as the adult mind. While a teenager may appear fully-grown in terms of physical appearance, his or her brain is still developing. Consequently, drug and alcohol prevention programs need to be modified to suit the mental level of the intended audience.

Joel Penton is a strong speaker advocating drug and alcohol prevention. His experience on the football field, playing for The Ohio State University, provides him with a unique perspective on the subject, which he uses to reach our students and encourage them. To have Joel speak to your school assembly about Drug and Alcohol Prevention, please contact us today.


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