Prevention is an important component of any child's overall education. Parents aren't always sure how to talk to their children about drugs, alcohol, and other substances and risks, which is why school systems should focus on providing a baseline prevention education program to all students. Here's why we believe all schools should invest in prevention education.
Children spend the majority of their days in school, and it's ultimately their main source of information. They may not always have a safe space or support system at home, and a prevention education program can help fulfill that need. Children who feel they're important to their teachers and classmates may also have a greater chance of steering away from drug or alcohol abuse to cope with isolation or depression.
Adolescents may give into peer pressure or utilize drugs and alcohol without knowing the risks. Providing a prevention education program that abides by the National Health Education Standards can bring these issues to the forefront and allow children and young adults to make better decisions once they understand the problems that can arise from using these substances. This allows for better informed choices.
Many at-risk students don't have access to the proper education, tools, and resources that come with a prevention education program. Whether they're impoverished, lack the familial support, or don't have strong role models, a school-based prevention education program brings the support and resources directly to them.
A prevention education program allows for teachers, counselors, and principals to identify at-risk students through surveys, check-ins, and behavior. Once they know and can identify the warning signs, they can take the proper steps to ensure the child doesn't fall victim to substance abuse and/or addiction. While this isn't a foolproof way to stop children from abusing alcohol and drugs, seeing the warning signs and knowing what to do next through the prevention education program will help more at-risk children have a fighting chance for sobriety.
Children need trusted adults to look up to, talk to about their concerns, and feel comfortable enough to trust with potential issues. This is especially true for kids who don't have the best family lives. A prevention education program will open up a dialogue between students and teachers, counselors, and school nurses about the importance of saying no to dangerous substances. It will also allow for instructors to create a safe space where students can ask questions and form stronger bonds with their trusted adult role models.
Is your school looking for an effective approach to a prevention education program? Wellspring Center for Prevention's school-based prevention programs offer a variety of courses that provide children and young adults opportunities to become involved in their communities through resisting peer pressure, strengthening life skills, and creating positive experiences.