- Alcoholism affects more people than diabetes, lung cancer, breast cancer, or heart attacks, and as many people as high blood pressure.
- Every year, about 12,000 people in the U.S. die from alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.
- Every year close to 200,000 emergency room visits are a result of using alcohol with other drugs.
Statement of the Youth Problem:
Drug abuse negatively impacts every aspect of a teen’s life and can severely impair academic performance. Today’s educators must have resources available to effectively intervene and stop the cycle of abuse. The consequences from alcohol, tobacco or other drug use can be wide and varied, affecting all aspects of a person… from psychological to social to emotional to physical to spiritual. The consequences can and often do impact learning and retention of knowledge.
For local data on underage drinking, click on this link: 2010 KIP (Kentucky Incentives for Prevention) Survey Results – Fayette County
WHAT ARE WE DOING ABOUT THE PROBLEM?
Data and programming: We work closely with schools on data collection and the development of effective prevention and intervention programs. The coalition administers the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey to 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th grade students throughout Fayette County every other year to track behaviors and attitudes. The coalition also designed a longitudinal study to track parent attitudes as their teen’s progress through high school. Using the collected data, targeted efforts are designed to help schools and replicate effective programs.
Guest speakers: Our coalition works closely with the following organizations who are available for group presentations:
- UK Student Ambassadors –UK’s Office of Substance Education & Responsibility has a team of UK students who will come to your classroom and discuss the risks involved in underage drinking and other substance abuse. www.q-authority.org, then click on the student wellness ambassadors
- UK College of Pharmacy/Generation Rx – UK Pharmacy students will come into the classroom to discuss prescription drug abuse Please contact Bryant.Cary@uky.edu
- Bluegrass Prevention Center – A substance abuse prevention program of Bluegrass Regional MHMR Board, Inc. Trained professionals have resources and information that is appropriate for youth and parents. 859-225-3296
Online Classroom Resources:
- KY Alcoholic Beverage Control – Click on “Programs” to go to their “Education Branch” page to see resources for teachers and others working to educate youth and parents about the risks involved with underage drinking.
- Adolescent Brain Development PowerPoint — provides a basic information on adolescent brain development.
- www.americanathleticinstitute.org – provides research, information and programs around athletes and drug and alcohol use.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?
Make use of the guest speakers and resources listed above.
Support coalition efforts to collect data, including through the Kentucky Incentives for Prevention (KIP) Survey which is administered to 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders every other year.
Help enforce school rules – including the no smoking policy. Students who smoke are more likely to go on to drink and use drugs. The no smoking policy is only as good as its enforcement and that takes the support of all teachers and administrators. Early intervention is one of the keys to successfully moving a young person back into a prevention population rather than a treatment population. What you see, hear and do can make all the difference in a young person’s life. Resiliency research indicates that a protective factor for young people is having someone in their life that sees them, cares about them and has high expectations. As an educator, your role and position can often be the protective factor that swings a young person to the healthy, productive “better things to do than drugs” category. What you do makes a big difference in a young person’s life. www.resiliency.com/htm/research.htm
Connect with parents and help educate them. One of the biggest challenges is getting parent involvement. You are in a position to gain parent buy-in and engage them in this important issue.
Serve as a Campus Champion: Teachers, as well as parents and other volunteers are welcome to participate. The Campus Champion serves as a liaison between our coalition and a specific middle or high school to facilitate effective communication and advocate for interventions which will serve all youth. It’s a limited time commitment with huge dividends to our young people!
Contact us to see how you can become involved in our coalition activities.
Keep track of our local efforts through the coalition calendar on our homepage.
Through modern research we have access to better understanding about addiction and the brain. What can trigger or prolong addiction is very often found in the brain. The disease of addiction is brain-based. Thus, treatment that happens sooner rather than later can impact what happens to the brain during underage drug use. There are treatment resources available in all the forms: outpatient, inpatient, early intervention, self-help groups, private and non-profit. Please do not wait. Call someone and seek the level of help that is needed. Thank you for stepping up to stand in the gap for any young person in your world that might need help.
Also, please see the list of additional treatment options by clicking on the substance abuse information button on the home page.