Youth Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs in schools, when conducted from a different angle – that of 21st Century Brain Research and SECONDHAND DRINKING (SHD) – opens a host of opportunities for the information to be heard differently and to spread the information beyond just the student. How?
Three Key Reasons To Use 21st Century Brain Research and SECONDHAND DRINKING as the basis for Youth Alcohol Abuse Prevention Programs in Schools
1) Because all children intersect with school at some point in their lives, schools and teachers working with youth provides an excellent opportunity to impart this information to the greatest number of young people and to have that information embraced as important for success.
2) The messaging imparted through schools, teachers, health education programs and the like not only impacts the young person, but depending on the program or product vehicle, it also reaches a broader audience. Take-home handouts or YouTube videos, for example, exponentially increase opportunities for others to understand this new research and self-elect change, if necessary. Examples of extended reach outcomes include:
- young adults changing “at-risk” drinking patterns before they suffer a serious consequence, such as a DUI, unprotected/unwanted sex, developing alcohol abuse or alcoholism.
- parents understanding how the brain develops and why the developmental changes occurring during the teen years causes alcohol to work differently in the teen brain than it does in the adult brain, thereby giving parents better tools for discussions and their own positions on underage drinking and moderating their own drinking patterns, if necessary.
- all to understand SHD, as well as the connections between bullying, violence, anxiety, depression and suicide and the brain changes caused by mental illness, heavy drinking patterns or repeated exposure to stress or SHD.
3) Addresses the broader issues of mental illness, suicide, violence, adolescent addiction treatment,
SHD and bullying by helping youth to:
- become their best selves through understanding the power they can exert over their brains, thereby helping them to avoid becoming “victims” of situations.
- understand what influences and/or changes how their brains work, such as: mental illness, ADHD, SHD, traumatic brain injury, depression, substance abuse, being bullied, parental alcohol abuse, family violence, as examples.
- recognize that sometimes they are not capable of changing their brains on their own, as in the case of mental illness or bullying, for example, and to appreciate that seeking help (such as that from a Health Teacher) is, in fact, a sign of a healthy brain.
- learn to care for and protect their brain – even in the face of negative experiences, such as a family member’s alcohol abuse and the resulting SHD.
- avoid alcohol or drug use until their brains are more fully developed because of the unique impact of alcohol and drugs on the developing brain.
If your school or school district would like such a program (these are customized to meet specific target audience requirements, for example: students, staff development programs, volunteer leaders, parents) or for further information, please give Lisa Frederiksen a call at 650-362-3026 or email her at lisaf@BreakingTheCycles.com. Note: this program can adjusted to include prescription and illegal drugs, as well. And, I’ll leave you with one attendee’s reaction to this program:
Lisa was absolutely amazing at our [San Mateo Union High School District Health Education Teachers and Department Heads] staff development day with health teachers in the district. We all learned so much about second hand drinking. It’s great to be able to apply all our knowledge into the class this semester. Kudos to you for a great in-service. We all felt it was time and money well spent. Sincerely, Barbara Beaumont
©2012 Lisa Frederiksen, BreakingTheCycles.com