Educating Youth About the Dangers of Prescription Drugs, Op-ed
Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)
August 16, 2012 1:14 PM
NOTE: The following is an op-ed piece from Education Minister Ramona Jennex.
I know educating youth on the dangers of prescription drug use is a topic of interest in the Valley region. The province takes this issue very seriously, and addresses it in the classroom and through services available to students and their families.
I'd like to take this opportunity to share how the province's drug awareness education curriculum effectively addresses substance abuse issues, including the alarming abuse of prescription drugs.
Substance use and addictions prevention are key components of elementary and junior high curriculum. In the classroom, we have a strong drug education resource called A Question of Influence. This comprehensive resource encompasses many factors which can influence the decisions to use drugs.
Our SchoolsPlus and Parent Alert programs, as well as school guidance counsellors and addictions services counsellors, also support students, teachers and their families within and outside school.
Recently, the province introduced its new mental health and addictions strategy, Together We Can. The strategy includes investing $1.4 million for mental health clinicians in SchoolsPlus schools to identify and address problems early.
The province is taking steps to raise awareness among young people with a website, www.unwasted.ca, launched in September 2011. The site was developed for students and focuses on common situations and consequences that can happen as a result of drinking, drug use and gambling. The site also offers information about potential risks, pressures, signs of trouble and how to get help.
As a province, we know tackling these very serious issues and educating our youth on the dangers of drug use requires many partners working together. Schools certainly have a role to play, but it takes a collaborative effort with parents, community members, law enforcement and health professionals.
We are working hard to do our part, in and out of the classroom.
Media Contact: Naomi Shelton
Department of Education