How Do We Talk To Kids About Drug Use In Schools?
The 1980s campaign urging kids to "just say no" to drugs wasn't as effective as previous generations hoped it would be. What's the best approach to teaching kids about the consequences of substance abuse?
Attitudes about drugs are evolving. Marijuana is now legal in some states. The United States is also in the grips of a worsening opioid addiction crisis. Opioids are now the leading cause of accidental death in the country, taking more young lives than car crashes.
About 1,200 students in the San Antonio area were involved in a controlled substance or drug related incident in the 2015-16 school term. A total of 22,850 incidents were self-reported to the Texas Education Agency by schools statewide in the same year.
In this new school year, what messages are being sent to youth about substance abuse? How is local law enforcement trained to handle potentially problematic behavior by students in schools? How are public schools addressing drug education?
- Mary Almendarez, youth programs director at the San Antonio Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (SACADA)
- Steven Pliszka, M.D., chairman of the department of psychiatry at UT Health San Antonio
- Mark Busbee, director of the ADAPT (Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Training) program
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