As an educator, you want your students to learn about the dangers of addiction and how to avoid them. The 1990s D.A.R.E. program was well-known for its failure to minimize the rate of substance abuse among students. Years later, research suggests that students react more positively towards honest and open discussions with an educator about substance abuse. A study conducted in 2012 actually reported lower risks of early alcohol abuse in students who received teacher support.1
As a drug and alcohol treatment center, we understand the importance of educating others on the consequences of addiction. The more educated a person is on the subject of substance abuse, the less inclined they may be to experiment with drugs or alcohol.
Teachings about drugs in school can be tricky. If you’re an educator and you’re wondering how to talk to your students about drugs, there are several tips you can follow.
You may be one of the few people your students feel comfortable talking to. Reacting harshly or judging your student for any questions or comments they have about drugs or alcohol can push them away and prevent them from reaching out in the future. Instead, be quick to listen and slow to respond. Hear them out and offer educational supplements.
No matter how young your students are, it’s always important to be honest with them. This doesn’t mean you have to show them inappropriate content, but you should be clear about the general effects of long-term substance abuse. You can explain physical changes, financial difficulties, and relationship problems that are often caused by addiction.
Very few people, if any at all, use drugs or alcohol with the intention of becoming addicted. Many individuals who suffer from an addiction started off by experimenting with certain substances. Eventually, they become dependent on their substance of choice. When explaining addiction to students, you have to be realistic. You can save your students from addiction by explaining that even one or two instances of experimentation can negatively impact their lives.
There are several educational supplements designed to help educators teach their students about drug abuse. You can use books, videos, and any other supplement that is age-appropriate to talk to your students about drug abuse. You can also reach out to supervisors on your school board and ask for any additional resources.
Many students become trapped by substance abuse because they don’t know how to go about receiving treatment. They may also feel ashamed to ask for help or may be struggling to cope with peer pressure. There are several programs and facilities that cater to minors with addictions. Advocating for addiction treatment can show students who are struggling with a drug or alcohol problem that it’s okay to ask for help.
If you’re an educator, you should learn how to talk to your students about drugs. You could potentially prevent your students from experimenting with substance abuse by having an honest and open discussion with them. If you have a student with an addiction at the college level, they may benefit from our residential treatment program that’s available to adults ages 18 and older, as well as our other substance abuse programs.