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Topics of Concern for Parents

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Drug Awareness at ECMS

Today’s teens face many possible dangers and risks as a result of current societal trends.  As parents, educators, and mentors, it is our responsibility to ensure protective factors are established to promote positive outcomes for teens.  Relatively new technology has enabled predators access to unsuspecting teens, offered temptation to use cellular phones while operating vehicles, and many other risks that teens may take. 

 

However, there is one danger that continues to make headlines and has continued to do so for the past several years.  Drug abuse remains one of the most dangerous and prevalent risks teens face today.  Though drugs such as marijuana and cocaine are still among those abused, current trends have revealed alarming new substances being more frequently abused among teens.  Prescription drugs and inhalants are becoming alarmingly popular choices for teen drug abuse.  According to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration in 2008, 15.2 million Americans age 12 years and older had taken a prescription drug for nonmedical purposes within the prior year.  The same survey also found that 2 million Americans age 12 years and older had abused inhalants in 2008.  Furthermore, it was found that 8.9% of eighth graders had abused inhalants in 2008.

 

Edinburgh Community Middle School recognizes these hazardous threats to the safety and health of our students.  The continuous development and promotion to students of our drug awareness program is a foremost priority.  In addition to activities such as Red Ribbon Week in October and participation in the D.A.R.E . (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program, we recently hosted a very special presentation delivered by community police officers concerning the dangers of drug abuse and the promotion of drug abstinence. 

 

Deputy Chief of Police David Lutz of the Edinburgh Police Department and Officer Pat Bryant of the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department volunteered their time to develop and present an informational program concerning abuse of all drugs with a focus on abuse of prescription drugs and inhalants to our students.  Officer Bryant serves as the official D.A.R.E. representative for Bartholomew County and regularly participates in our health curriculum for seventh and eighth graders. He will also be participating in sixth grade curriculum in the upcoming semester.

 

 Three days prior to delivering the program, the officers requested that students anonymously submit questions they may have concerning drug abuse to give the officers a focus for their research and information to be provided.  The officers then attempted to tailor the presentation to student concerns and questions while giving additional important information needed.  At the conclusion of the presentation the officers conducted an additional question and answer forum during which students could raise their hands and ask any questions they may have.  Several students participated and asked appropriate questions.  The information delivered was both effective and relevant for our students.

 

Drug awareness continues to be a crucial commitment to our students at Edinburgh Community Middle School.  Results of several recent studies have suggested that school connectedness, students’ belief that adults and peers in their school care about them as individuals and their learning experience, is a promising factor in teens’ struggle against drug abuse.  School connectedness is a core belief that the staff and I are devoted to.  Our connection to our students not only improves adolescent health but also promotes positive decision making and confidence.

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