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.
#FactFriday: In 2017, about 140.6M Americans (aged 12 and older) were current alcohol users. Learn more from SAMHSA’s 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data findings: https://t.co/r8Ku8HhDT2 pic.twitter.com/9cdPu8LH5I
— SAMHSA (@samhsagov) January 11, 2019
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.
Ready for #NDAFW? Learn more about the warning signs that may indicate a student is impacted by opioids, alcohol and/or other substance abuse – and the strategies to support them. https://t.co/2ueMJhl8Dy
— US Dept of Education (@usedgov) January 18, 2019
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?
— NIDAnews (@NIDAnews) January 15, 2019