How are these webinars combatting substance abuse in US schools?
Substance abuse in schools is an issue that must be thwarted. Source: Shutterstock

Thanks to the rapid transmission of technology, online tutorials such as webinars are available to anyone with access to the World Wide Web.

US educators are using this to their advantage, supplying informative virtual sessions that aim to combat substance abuse in schools.

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) in the US keeps an updated Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), used to assess the current damage of substance abuse in schools.

From the six categories of health-related behaviours monitored by the CDC, the system has a notable amount of data about alcohol and other drug use in the US – factors that are among the leading causes of death and disability among both youth and adults.

As the most recent CDC Youth Risk Behavior Survey – Data Summary & Trends Report: 2007-2017 explains, “In 2017, 14 percent of high school students who had ever used select illicit drugs, defined them as cocaine, inhalants, heroin, methamphetamines, hallucinogens or ecstasy.”

So from the tender age of 14 up to 18 years old, young students in 2017 were exposed to class A drugs.

Today, this issue still stands.

When reviewing Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) data, particularly the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), US learners as young as 12 appear to be affected by substance abuse.

As the survey’s methodological summary states, “In 2017, 43,484 individuals who were 12 years old were estimated to have initiated the use of alcohol between 1 and 2 years earlier. These individuals would have been past year initiates in the 2016 survey conducted on the same dates had the 2016 survey covered younger people.”

It’s clear that the issue of substance abuse has trickled down through the K12 education system.

To strive against this notion and to try to steer the temptations of drugs and alcohol away from young students, the US Department of Education has developed webinars designed for teachers and specialised instructional support personnel who are keen to support students and families impacted by the crisis.

In the past, webinars have included topics such as The Opioid Crisis and K-12 Schools: Supporting Students at School, Implementing School-Based Diversion Programmes and Public Hearing and Eliminating Youth Electronic Cigarette Use: The Role for Drug Therapies

Alternatively, if you ever miss the future live webinars, the system stores useful video and audio files for you to watch or to share with others.

As this year’s National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week (NDAFW) approaches, January 22-27 is set to increase awareness of this crisis, informing the public that it’s not just high school students who are impacted.

With learners as young as 12, perhaps even younger, exposed to class A drugs, it’s crucial to educate the leaders of tomorrow about the dangers these substances can cause.

So, will you take action and help spread the message of the opioid epidemic?

Liked this? Then you’ll love…

How did universities promote World Mental Health Day?

This counsellor goes above and beyond to keep students off alcohol, drugs