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KDMC introduces new alcohol and drug education program for middle school students

In response to numerous requests from teachers and students, the King’s Daughters Health Connections Department has developed a new education program for middle school students focusing on alcohol and drug abuse. The program, called “The Truth About Drugs: Get the Real Facts,” is highly interactive, with videotaped testimonials, visual aids, handouts and lots of interesting facts and figures. Schools that may be interested in scheduling the program may call the KDMC Health Connections Department at (606) 408-4151.

“For more than 10 years we have presented a tobacco education program in the schools that has been very well received,” said Rachel Cooper, a nurse and community health specialist with the King’s Daughters Health Connections Department. “We recognize there also is a great need to educate young people on the real facts about alcohol, prescription medications, street drugs and inhalants, so we developed this new program,” Cooper said. She said alcohol and drug abuse can affect young people from all social and economic backgrounds. "It's all around us, and it's important for students to get the real facts and not just rely on what they hear from each other and from the popular media," Cooper said.

“Drugs are essentially poisons," Cooper continued. "And although nearly half of teens believe taking prescription drugs is safer than street drugs, the fact is, prescription drugs are just as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs.” Cooper said she emphasizes that alcohol and drug abuse leads to long-lasting and perhaps permanent brain damage that can affect one’s thinking ability, judgment and behavior, and put themselves and others in danger.

The drug education program was developed using materials from the Foundation for a Drug-Free World (www.drugfreeworld.org) and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (www.drugfree.org/parent).

Some facts about drugs:

  • The most commonly used and abused drug in the United States is alcohol
  • Alcohol-related vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of teen death in the United States
  • The most commonly used illegal drug is marijuana, which often is a “gateway” to other drugs

 

Common reasons young people have given for taking drugs:

  • To fit in
  • To escape or relax
  • To relieve boredom
  • To seem grown up
  • To rebel
  • To experiment

 

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