Schools and Drug Abuse: Four Steps to Help Children Combat Chronic Addictions
Addiction is a chronic disease in which significant portion of the person’s life is influenced by, or can be impaired by, substance abuse.
The progression and intensity of the addiction will affect the way people perform in school and life, and the education system as a whole. The cycle of problem substance abuse will continue until society realizes that the dependence is not a normal part of life.
Parents and educators are not to blame; addiction is a family disease.
Schools cannot be the solution. Teachers don’t make people get high to learn. While schools can assist through proper counseling, educating, and treatment, addiction is a disease. If a child isn’t properly trained in different influences that affect learning, they may experience difficulties in the future.
Here are four ways to educate young children without using study drugs:
1. Find and identify your child’s goals and teach healthy coping skills
Parents and teachers do not have to have a crystal meth habit to have a child that needs help. Regardless of whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, and other habits, there is a connection between substance abuse and their ability to perform their self-concept in school.
Some kids start with a food or candy habit because they want their parents to like them, or because they want to be popular. Unfortunately, this is normal, but if children’s self-esteem and confidence is compromised, a downward spiral can be inevitable.
If this kind of behavior is occurring, it’s vital that a child receive help, which can be either with individual counseling or with other forms of therapy. If there are no other resources available, a child can be referred to an in-school program that can offer alternatives to habit-forming behaviors such as food or alcohol.
2. Identify treatment options and encourage proper counseling
Chronic substance abuse can be difficult to treat, and many forms of addiction don’t get treated. An individual may be on prescribed medication such as an anti-anxiety or sleeping pill, or may be taking medications that can suppress stress. This can lead to dependence when these methods are used with another substance.
Further, a student who is placed on two classes and drops one may realize that the academic struggle is due to the other drug, not the medication. This kind of confusion can cause issues later on, and students often struggle to show up for class.
College students who are attending sessions with a counselor aren’t doing themselves any favors by only attending remedial classes on-campus. A family or school can help divert attention from academic work to help with substance abuse problems by facilitating treatment.
3. Attend informational events
High school and college schools can host informational seminars, which can reach younger students and provide them with the opportunity to talk about their experiences. This is important because these workshops can help young students recognize their struggles, as well as clarify their role in the problem.
Some schools may hold seminars in area hospitals, where they can raise awareness about drug use. In the past, schools offered such events in hospitals to prevent some students from dropping out of school, and continue to do so.
Teenagers who need help completing some of their last high school credits can benefit by attending seminars in private industry, where they can easily develop professional skills necessary to enter the workforce. Additionally, this type of experience would allow them to prove to high school officials that they are serious about completing high school.
4. Reach out for help
Parents, teachers, counselors, and other family members can help students to obtain the help they need. No matter how much time you have saved for your child, you need to find time to sit down with your child. Look for events or broadcasts throughout the week that are related to the subject matter in school.
This is also a good time to review important developmental benchmarks, and talk about setting a reasonable goal, such as completing their homework in time.
Younger students may only hear the negative story of drug use and don’t realize that addiction isn’t part of their life today. They can be convinced to turn things around, and young people can gain the belief that they have the right to pursue their education.
Giving your child healthy coping skills and exposure to information can help them to distinguish between what’s healthy and unhealthy in their life, and focus on being in school.