Teen Classroom Discussions About Drugs and Alcohol

Addiction Solutions Nantucket Resources

It’s a difficult task, but an important one. Here are some powerful prompts to start the conversation.

BY Dana Truby on January 3, 2017, reprinted from https://www.weareteachers.com/10-conversation-starters-spark-authentic-classroom-discussions-drugs-alcohol/

I’m going to be honest with you. Talking to middle-school students about the risks of drugs and alcohol is not my favorite thing to do. It’s awkward. It’s challenging. I don’t know what they’re going to say. Frankly, it scares me a little. But here’s the thing. Not talking to my students about underage use and abuse of drugs and alcohol, and the many tough decisions they’re going to face as teenagers, scares me far more. Here’s why. The average age boys first try alcohol is 11. For girls, the age is 13. Research shows that teens who drink or use drugs regularly are 65 percent more likely to become addicted than those who hold off until age 21.

So, that’s why I talk to my students. I’m in. Even though it’s hard, even though they sometimes roll their eyes, I talk to them about drugs and alcohol because it matters, because it can help them make good choices, it can help to save lives, and because I believe teachers can make a difference. Genuine, ongoing conversations with adults who care—parents of course, but teachers too—can help teens make better decisions on the way to growing up.

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