Saturday, July 31, 2010

Dazed and Confused

According to a recent CDC survey, one in five U.S. high school students say that they have taken prescription drugs without a doctor’s prescription. The survey also found that 72% of high schoolers had used alcohol in the past year, while 37% had used marijuana. Clearly, drugs and alcohol continue to be attractive to teens, despite various drug education programs and public service announcements to alert them to the dangers of such behavior.

Teens and adolescents are bombarded daily with lyrics, images, and information about drugs, some of it correct, much of it not. Music with drug references is nothing new, but the frequency with which drug and alcohol references appear in songs has increased dramatically over the past decade. Eminem’s latest release, Relapse, for example, is riddled with drug and alcohol references – and remains a favorite album with the middle- and high school crowd. Watch any televised sporting event, and kids are exposed to numerous ads glorifying drinking (ever see any alcohol ads featuring old, overweight, or unattractive people? Thought not). So, just how do parents and educators combat the slick allure of drugs and underage drinking when celebrities and other media types appear to revel in it?

Most experts agree that drug education has to start early with age-appropriate materials and discussions; the subject should also be consistently addressed throughout the K-12 years and into college. My picks this week focus on drug and education materials from a variety of sources for use in the classroom. The first two resources are provided by the American Council for Drug Education, a substance abuse education and prevention agency that develops educational programs and materials based on current scientific research on drug use and its impact on society. The third resource, “It’s My Life: Dangers of Drug Abuse” is a product of PBS, which offers high-quality TV programming and online content to tens of millions of people each day. As always, please check our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the week, where we will post links to more drug education resources for a variety of ages.

People We Trust
Subjects: Safety
Grade: K-3
The goal of this lesson is to teach young children how to identify the appropriate persons from whom he or she can safely take medicine.

Peer Pressure
Subjects: Literature, Safety
Grade: 7-8
This lesson uses segments of Mark Twain’s novel Tom Sawyer to discuss and illustrate peer pressure. Students also learn to identify ways to cope with peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.

It’s My Life: Dangers of Drug Abuse
Subjects: Health, Safety
Grade: 5-12
Studies have shown that experimentation with drugs often begins in early adolescence. In this lesson, students will understand that they will be faced with a variety of decisions regarding their health – some of them involving illicit substances. They will evaluate the health hazards of legal and illegal drugs, and explain the advantages of remaining drug-free. Students will also describe the short- and long-term health risks of using drugs.

~Joann's Picks - 7/31/2010~

1 comment:

  1. Once again, I have to say that I am so appreciative that you offer lessons for each age group. It is so helpful to view the topics in an age-appropriate manner!


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