Saturday, 13 April 2013 00:00
When it comes to teens and drugs it is all about choices and consequences. SAFE, Inc. participated in the National Drug Facts Week campaign by creating a program for students at Glen Cove Finley Middle School and Glen Cove High School. Their efforts were targeted at arming students with the facts to help them make the right choices so they do not suffer the consequences from drugs and alcohol.
National Drug Facts Week was launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), part of the National Institutes of Health, to educate youth about the real facts about drugs. Teens are often swayed by incorrect information on the Internet, television, movies, from the music they enjoy, and their peers. This year’s National Drug Facts Week was from Feb. 25 to March 1.
SAFE’s campaign included the announcement of drug facts every morning during the traditional morning announcements.
“These announcements allowed for a connection to the health education classes throughout the week,” said Tony Gallo, coalition co-chair.
The students also played the WreckEd card game in their health class. The game is an educational youth component of the PACT 360 Program. (PACT360 is a law enforcement-led community prevention education system designed to deal with and reduce existing drug issues.) Wreck-Ed encourages teens to think more introspectively about their decisions regarding drugs and alcohol. This program not only encourages youth to look at their own behavior, but also to reach out and look out for their friends who may be making the wrong unhealthy decisions.
“The game allowed students to think about and consider how drugs can interfere with their own life goals,” said Gallo. “This card game (Wreck-Ed) makes students realize that drug use and abuse has many negative short-term and long-term consequences.”
WreckEd began with a video depicting what’s going on everyday with teens when it comes to drugs and alcohol. “The students viewed the 10 minute video which had former drug addicts that spoke about how their lives began to spiral out of control due to drug use and addiction,” said Gallo.
After the film teachers led a group discussion focusing on parts of the video opening the door for students to explore the reasons why the teens in the video decided to use drugs. Several students even spoke about their own experiences and about what influenced them to make the decisions they choose.
“SAFE’s PRIDE Project Coalition seeks to educate youth and adults through alcohol and substance abuse prevention, intervention and education,” said Dr. Sharon Harris, director of SAFE, Inc. “Drug Facts Week is one of many initiatives the coalition promotes to foster peer resistance skills and healthy lifestyles.”
For further information on any SAFE, Inc. PRIDE Project Coalition and their initiatives contact Coalition Coordinator Aimee Abraham at 676-2008. SAFE Inc. is a not-for-profit tax-exempt substance abuse education and prevention agency located in Glen Cove. Visit www.safeglencove.org.