OFT is partnering with the Ohio Department of Education to provide resources to help teachers deal with a growing drug problem. The resources focus on drug prevention and how to talk to kids and families about drugs.
OFT and the Ohio Education Association are developing a train-the-trainer program to help establish a drug prevention point person in every district. Below are resources developed by ODE that can be shared in your buildings.
Start Talking! to your students. You may save a life.
Every day, educators like you work to give students a high-quality public education so they can graduate ready for success in college and a globally competitive job market. But an unseen enemy works against us: Drugs are making their insidious way into our schools, slowing bright minds and cutting promising lives short.
As a student progresses into higher grades, his or her risk for first-time use of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs rises. For students transitioning to middle school, junior high or high school, or those moving into a new school system, the onset of harmful substance use can triple.
Ohio is mounting an aggressive fight against student drug abuse. State law now requires schools to address opiate addiction in their health education curricula. The fight also includes a statewide initiative to discourage drug use by focusing on children’s relationships with their family members and teachers.
The Ohio-born Start Talking! initiative launched in January 2014. Start Talking! takes a multi-pronged approach to drug prevention with three programs to help educate families and influence students to head off substance abuse before it starts:
- Parents360 Rx is an educational program developed by the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to increase parents’ knowledge of prescription drug abuse and improve confidence in their ability to speak with their children about substance abuse in general.
- Know! offers a free, twice-monthly tip sheet called TEACHable Moments to help teachers and community leaders talk to children about drug-free living. The program also publishes twice-monthly Parent Tips for families who want to help their children resist peer pressure to use alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
- 5 Minutes for Life centers on high school students. Ohio State Troopers, Ohio National Guard or local law enforcement officers talk for five minutes with student athletes before or after a practice. They discuss responsible decision making, leadership and ways to encourage those in their peer groups to live drug-free lifestyles.
As a classroom educator, you can support these efforts by being knowledgeable about drug abuse in your area and using the Know! TEACHable Moments tip sheets to help you start informal class discussions about the dangers of substance abuse.
To receive TEACHable Moments, visit starttalking.ohio.gov. For additional details about the initiative or for help setting up a Start Talking! training in your area, contact Adria Troyer at email@example.com.