Public Health In Schools Essay

1938 words - 8 pages

Do you or someone you know, know a teenager who engages in unhealthy habits such as poor nutrition, misuse of drugs or alcohol, and practices unsafe sexual habits? Keeping programs that help adolescents tackle these issues in an informed manner are all necessary to help model positive behaviors in everyday life. Programs such as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E) and The Boy and Girls Club of America help to educated children and teens in terms of making informed decisions on their overall health and wellbeing. Research studies provide evidence that promoting and establishing healthy behaviors for younger people are more effective, and often easier than efforts to change unhealthy behaviors already established in adulthood. It is in the communities best interest to properly educate teens on the importance of maintaining a healthy and safe lifestyle through the use of classes and other educational programs in schools, community outreach programs, and through public service announcements such as television and other forms of media.
To begin, public health has a longstanding history in attempting to get involved in the daily lives of people in our society. In 1919, prohibition began the first attempt at government interference when it came to drugs an alcohol. After the abolishment of prohibition, drugs became a main focus as far as public health was concerned. The United States faced its first drug epidemic in the beginning of the 20th century, and its second during the 1970's. During the discovery of new drugs such as morphine, heroin, and cocaine, our society has attempted to find a solution for drug abuse and addiction in the country. During the 1960s, drugs like marijuana, amphetamines, and psychedelics gained popularity. These drugs became very important to the culture of this generation. With the drug culture increasing, and there being signs of a new epidemic in the 70's, the government developed new laws and agencies to address these problems. By the 1970's, cocaine and crack both reappeared in society and spread addiction and violence across the country. In October of 1970, Congress passed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act, which, among other things, categorized controlled substances based on their medicinal use and potential for addiction. Soon after this, programs began to attempt to divert the youth of the nation from the dangerous path that drugs posed. By 1973, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was created to enforce federal drug laws.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Healthy Youth initiative and the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, “schools can play a vital role in establishing healthy behavior patterns among young people that carry into adulthood.” Public health programs such as D.A.R.E America strive to teach students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives through a carefully planned drug prevention...

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