Encouraging a Drug-Free School: Create a Healthy Environment for Students

Drug addiction is one of the biggest health problems in the world today. It affects every community, and it can happen to anyone. But it’s not just about losing your job or family members—addiction is also linked to a higher risk of chronic diseases, mental illness and even death from overdose. With these statistics on hand, it’s vital that we do all we can to prevent addiction before it ever starts in our schools.

The benefits of drug use prevention education in schools
Research has found that teens who use substances are more likely to skip school, have lower grades, lower academic self-efficacy, and lower academic engagement than their non-substance using peers. However, according to a 2018 report from the office of the Ohio Attorney General, drug prevention programs in schools are effective at improving educational outcomes for students. They increase protective factors that help students respond to unsafe situations in a healthy way. Age-appropriate drug prevention programs are a key tool in limiting substance use among children and teens.

Create strong district leadership teams.
A strong district leadership team is essential for creating a drug-free school community. The team should include parents, teachers, principals, other administrators, counselors, nurses, and other health professionals. These people should be able to make decisions and take action that will improve your school’s culture.

You can also encourage parents to become involved in their child’s education as well as participate in an active role within the school community.

Increase student awareness and education.
As a school board member, you can help increase your school’s ranking by providing students with the education and support they need to make healthy decisions. In many cases, this means providing drug and alcohol prevention education.

From providing consent forms for parents before the school year begins to scheduling regular assemblies for students, there are plenty of ways that you can inform parents about your district’s policies regarding drugs and alcohol use. In addition, it’s important to ensure that your schools have access to resources that will help them educate their students about these topics.

Starting a Drug Free Club in your school increases the amount of awareness and education needed to affect the health of your student body positively.

Establish partnerships in the community.
Schools can help prevent addiction before it occurs by educating students, providing resources, and engaging with parents, teachers, and the community. Students are more likely to avoid drugs if they are surrounded by friends and supportive individuals, like teachers, who don’t do drugs.

We know that students may have family members at home or classmates who partake in drug use. Teachers can create a safe environment for their students and provide vital education on how substances affect their bodies and minds so that young people understand how dangerous substances can be.

It is beneficial for a school to establish partnerships with local businesses that can provide rewards for students, support, and a community focus on drug prevention efforts. By forming these partnerships, you can create a healthy environment at your school, and students know their entire community supports their healthy lifestyle.

Drug Free Clubs of America is on a mission to reduce the impacts of drug use in youth. Across the nation, drug and alcohol use is on the rise among teens. We provide students with practical tools and techniques to navigate peer pressure and choose a healthy lifestyle. Partnering with schools and communities, we offer preventative programming to meet students where they are. Through randomized drug testing, educational resources, a positive outlet, and a supportive community, we are changing school cultures and reducing alcohol, marijuana, vaping, and other detrimental activities among our members and the entire school body. Drug Free Clubs of America has over 5,000 student and faculty/staff members and Clubs in over 50 schools in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

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