9 Proven Ways of Preventing Drugs and Substance Use in Learning Institutions
Drug and substance use is a common problem in schools worldwide. In most cases, learners do not know they are putting their lives in danger while indulging in drug abuse. Prevention is better than cure; teachers, parents, and the community should work together to prevent drug use and encourage students to live healthy lives.
Effects of Drug and Substance on Learners
Students’ commonly used drugs and substances are alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, over-the-counter medicines, prescription drugs, etc. The risk factors are:
- Chances of developing an addiction
- Poor academic performance
- School dropout and teenage pregnancies
- Hospitalization and deaths caused by drug-related ailments
- Indulging in risky sexual behaviors
Ways of Preventing Drug Use in Schools
Encourage Students to Engage In Extracurricular Activities
Research conducted by National Institute on Out-of-School Time shows that students who spend time in extracurricular activities have a 49% fewer chance of using drugs. Learners who do not engage in such activities have a higher chance of joining bad companies, engaging in sexual immoralities, and taking medicines or substances.
Parents play a significant role in the lives of their children. They have to guide their children while at an early age and warn them of the consequences of using drugs. A child who’ve had serious talks with the parent is unlikely to use drugs in school. However, parents should be good role models. They should avoid using drugs or substances in the presence of their children.
Set Up School Discipline Team
The school discipline team should consist of staff members; however, it is good to include few parents, students, and community members. For instance, students can know which students are taking drugs within them, and the parents and community representatives can focus on monitoring students when out of school.
Students spend more time in school facilities than at home. So, teachers can modify their behavior through rehearsals and coaching.
Setting Up Surveillance Cameras in Crucial Places at School
Students cannot take drugs in open places in the presence of the teachers and other students. In most cases, they take them in dark corridors, playgrounds, and incomplete structures. If you install CCTV cameras in such places, they may not bring drugs within the school compound.
Such sessions should be available in schools to guide students who face issues that may lead them to drugs. It may be pressure from their friends, neglect by caregivers, etc. Teachers should also encourage students who seem stressed or disturbed to go for counseling.
Adopt School-based Drug screening Programs
Although the discussion about whether to screen students for drug use is still not concluded, many leaders and parents support the idea. However, schools are permitted to test students engaged in activities such as sports to undergo drug screening. Those found with drug and substance addiction can get help here https://www.infiniterecovery.com/.
Drug Education in Learning Facilities
An institution can offer after-school lessons to inform students of the risks of using drugs and substances. They should also involve parents and caregivers in the learning programs since they also need to know about drug use. Without the proper knowledge, you may not know the signs of addiction.
Recreational and Leisure Activities
These activities are aimed at providing fun and leisure alternatives to substances and drug use. Dancing, swimming competitions, weekend programs, community service activities are alternatives to risky behaviors. However, teachers should supervise such activities to avoid learners indulging in sexual behaviors and other problems.
Parents, teachers, and the community may try to prevent drug use in schools, but the vice still occurs. So, ensure the affected students get the proper treatment and care. Teachers should also assist the sick learners from stigmatization from other students.