Strategies To Educate Students On Substance Abuse

1270 words - 5 pages

Drug usage is becoming a major problem for youth in today’s society. Because drugs and other substances are frequently presented in media that children are often exposed to, they are often persuaded to engage in such negative behaviors. Media however, is not youth’s only persuasion factor. Many children often grow up in households where drugs are used and sometimes abused. Since more and more youth are now “trying” drugs, it is important for educators to begin educating students as early as Kindergarten on promoting a healthy drug-free lifestyle.
As a second grade teacher in a school division where substance abuse is relatively high and many of the student’s parents engage in substance abuse, it is important that effective strategies that are conceptually appropriate for this grade level are implemented in the classroom. Telling students that drugs are bad or they will die if they participate in substance abuse have both been proven to be ineffective approaches in promoting a drug free lifestyle. I feel that I should devote more time to specifically discuss the variety of drugs that children can be exposed to, the short term effects of using drugs, strategies to communicate effectively without turning to drugs, and other facts that are developmentally appropriate for such a young age group. Most children in second grade today are only aware of the most common drugs such as cigarettes (tobacco) and alcohol whereas in reality, there are a number of other drugs that are now being used. Prior to having a class discussion on drug and substance abuse, students should be introduced to the number of other drugs that are often placed in the other category such as marijuana, inhalants, and over-the-counter or prescription drugs. It is important that young children become familiar with such drugs to ensure that they do not experiment with drugs due to a lack of knowledge or familiarity. Once children have gained a little insight to the different type of drugs it would then be a great time to briefly discuss some of the short-term effects that drug or substance abuse could have on the body or in general. The activity to accompany the discussion would be a K-W-L chart on drug and substance abuse which will displayed in the classroom. First, I personally would allow the students to share with me their prior knowledge of the negative effects of drugs and facts will be listed under the K column of the chart. Prior to actually providing students with the information that I have to share with them, I will allow them to share with me their “wonders” about drugs, or information they want to learn pertaining to drug and substance abuse. Some of the important facts that I will share with them are smoking tobacco causes individuals to have bad breath and smokeless tobacco could also cause individuals to develop gum and tooth problems (Telljohann, 2012). Instead of just mentioning this information to students, they would better understand the material if they are...

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