(New York, NY) — Bard Excessive College Early School Manhattan (BHSEC) is thought for its progressive curriculum. Now, they’re taking a leap the place no highschool has gone earlier than on the subject of drug training for his or her ninth grade well being college students. This month BHSEC turned the primary highschool within the nation to pilot the Security First: Actual Drug Training for Teenagers curriculum developed by the nonprofit Drug Coverage Alliance (DPA) designed as an alternative choice to abstinence-only messages, equivalent to D.A.R.E.. The 14-unit course emphasizes important pondering and wholesome decision-making, on the subject of youngsters and medicines.
“We designed this curriculum utilizing the same philosophy to fashionable intercourse training,” says Sasha Simon, DPA’s Security First Program Supervisor. “Elementary to our strategy is hurt discount, which acknowledges that as a lot as we wish for younger individuals to not use medication, we all know that a few of them will. We wish to give younger individuals correct data and concrete methods to maintain them secure.”
D.A.R.E. and different abstinence-only drug education schemes have long-proven to be ineffective. Because the article Why “Simply Say No” Does not Work from Scientific American notes: “Merely telling members to ‘simply say no’ to medication is unlikely to provide lasting results as a result of many could lack the wanted interpersonal abilities. Applications led solely by adults, with little or no involvement of scholars as peer leaders appear comparatively unsuccessful.” Applications equivalent to D.A.R.E. deliver an out of doors teacher into the classroom, whereas the Security First curriculum was developed for well being lecturers and designed for college kids to develop sturdy analysis, communication and hurt discount abilities with their friends, “the very individuals who have the best affect on their selections round drug use,” says Simon.
The brand new Security First curriculum will assist college students: 1) Use important pondering abilities to entry and consider details about alcohol and different medication; 2) Study decision-making and goal-setting abilities to assist them make wholesome selections associated to substance use; three) Develop private and social methods to handle the dangers, advantages and harms of alcohol and different drug use; four) Perceive the affect of drug insurance policies on private and group well being; and 5) Discover ways to advocate for health-oriented drug insurance policies. The curriculum accommodates 14 classes and aligns with Nationwide Well being Training Requirements (NHES).
Each ninth grader at present enrolled in well being at BHSEC (near 90 college students in complete) will take this course as a part of their adolescent well being curriculum mandated by New York state. This pilot program began on March 5 and can finish on March 29. BHSEC was chosen for the pilot partially due to its highschool pupil physique range (racial, gender and economical), which mirrors nationwide statistics.
“Our purpose is to check this curriculum in a number of college populations in order that we are able to proceed to refine it and ultimately make it accessible on a nationwide stage,” says Simon. “I’m personally observing these teachings within the classroom and am blown away by the considerate questions the scholars are asking. They’re hungry for details about medication, and we’re giving them instruments to make wholesome and accountable selections.”
The brand new curriculum is being rigorously evaluated to find out whether or not it has a right away impact on the ideas, emotions, attitudes and behaviors of freshman in relationship to substance use; and to check the surveys and interview guides to find out that they’re legitimate measurements of curriculum success. Evaluators working by way of the Analysis Basis of CUNY will likely be delivering their findings this summer time, which is able to affect a brand new model of the curriculum to be launched within the fall of 2018.
The Security First: Actual Drug Training for Teenagers curriculum is the fruits of just about 20 years of labor in youth drug points spearheaded by the director of DPA’s San Francisco workplace, Dr. Marsha Rosenbaum. As a mom and an expert drug researcher, Dr. Rosenbaum wrote Security First: A Actuality-Based mostly Strategy to Teenagers, Medicine, and Drug Training to assist different dad and mom handle the problem of what to do if their little one decides to attempt alcohol or different medication, despite their recommendation to stay abstinent. This booklet, grounded within the idea of hurt discount and sincere, science-based drug training, turned the muse for DPA’s Security First: Actual Drug Training for Teenagers curriculum.