Educating Oklahoma on Drug Abuse
Education can be a life-saving gift when applied correctly. This is why educating Oklahoma on drug abuse has become a priority, especially with young people. Research-based prevention programs and education are fundamental to the future wellbeing of the state’s youth.
So what is the state of Oklahoma doing to stop substance abuse in its tracks?
Oklahoma’s State Department of Education is taking steps to nip substance abuse in the bud. “Effective substance abuse prevention,” says the SDE website, “is critical to ensuring the academic success of Oklahoma’s youth.”
Not only can prevention programs save futures, but they can also save lives. For many Oklahomans, a good education is an integral part of their future opportunities, financial stability, and physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
Tools and Strategies
The SDE plays a significant role in guiding Oklahoma’s youth. In implementing abuse prevention programs, the state is equipping students with crucial knowledge. These programs communicate the negative impact of substance abuse, reinforce critical coping strategies, and empower students to say no to peer pressure.
The SDE is now offering free AlcoholEdu to all high schools in Oklahoma with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. This online education course is designed for use by high school students to inform teens about the risks and consequences of drinking. The student component is matched by a parallel program for both teachers and parents. The course also trains adults to engage with teens and talk about the dangers of drinking underage.
The SDE site has also compiled vital resources, programs, and organizations focused on education to prevent substance abuse. These include:
- A free student program from the National Institute for Drug Abuse
- Oklahoma Pharmacists Association school presentations
- The State Department of Health’s tobacco prevention and cessation presentations
- Oklahoma Life of An Athlete’s free program for high school athletes
- Student groups such as Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) and 2 Much 2 Lose (2M2L) advocating for abuse prevention
Prevention Starts With Education
Education is key to prevention. Unfortunately, comprehensive substance abuse education won’t always stop teens from falling into dangerous habits and behaviors. There is no denying that certain risk factors in a young person’s life can make them more susceptible to substance abuse.
What prevention education can do, however, is equip them with the know-how to:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse in themselves and their peers
- Understand the risks and consequences of their behaviors
- Recognize when they are engaging in risky behavioral patterns
- Learn their limitations
- Seek help if/when they need it
And prevention strategies have been proven to work. They are essential to protecting the future of Oklahoma’s youth.
The truth is that the teenage and college years are often a time of experimentation, which may bring them into contact with substances, and those who use them. During these times, youths have to be able to make the right decision for themselves. The best way to do that is to ensure that they have the proper knowledge and tools at their disposal.
For those who are currently struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it is never too late to get help. Landmark Recovery is here to support you when you are ready to be supported. Reach out today to get started.