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Average People Doing Extraordinary Things in Newton

By Kristen Bosse

In today's age, drugs, tobacco, and alcohol are all easily accessible to children and teens. With this ease of access comes a high rate of adolescent substance abuse, starting as early as elementary school. While the government works on putting tighter restrictions on these substances, the real prevention starts with the persons surrounding the child. As a teacher, parent, family member, etc., you have a major impact a child's decision not to use drugs or alcohol. Organizations like FCD (Freedom from Chemical Dependency) believe that children should be exposed to the dangers of drug use at an early age so that they have time to prepare once they are offered these same things. This is why for decades, FCD has worked worldwide to provide students and the adults who care for them with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to make intelligent, healthy choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

FCD is a mission-driven organization that works with schools and other organizations across the United States and around the world to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to make intelligent, healthy choices about alcohol and other drug use. The organization is able to complete this mission by providing educational establishments with the training and knowledge necessary to implement effective substance abuse programs, promote awareness of drug addiction, empower young people to make their own decisions about leading a healthy lifestyle, and much more. In short, FCD staff members are truly passionate about prevention and will work with each community to make sure their students continue to live healthily as they grow older.

How They Do It...

The FCD mission is successfully reached in each community with the use of student prevention programs, adult engagement and education, and student surveys and assessments. If students are educated thoroughly about the risks involved with drug and alcohol use, they have the best chance at become healthy, responsible adults.

FCD's most popular program is the Intensive Student Education Program, which is both highly interactive and relevant to real-life experiences. Teaching methods include presentations, discussion, multi-media, role-play and exercises. The program's curriculum is structured based on the specific needs of each student population, thereby ensuring that the students capitalize on their interests, knowledge, and maturity. A great thing about these programs is that each is taught by an FCD Prevention Specialist who is in healthy recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction themselves. This gives the students a look at someone who is living a healthy, drug and alcohol free life.

FCD Educational Services encourages parents and families, as vital prevention agents, to be active participants in student substance abuse prevention through their own education and engagement. Children whose parents talk to them about the risks of alcohol and other drug use are less likely to face problems with substances. To help them in their quest, FCD has provided a research-based Intensive Parent Education curriculum, deliverable, in-person, or in a convenient online format. Parents that feel they need additional support are more than welcome to engage in these activities.

Mary Tripp, Client Relations Officer, gave us some insight on how their organization makes sure the program remains effective for her students.
"Since FCD's founding, we have asked students who have receive our Intensive Student Education program to write an anonymous evaluation. These now number well over 1,500,000. The comment we hear most consistently is that the FCD teacher's personal experience gave a weight and credibility to what was said that made that student listen, absorb, and think about these issues in a deeper, more meaningful way than ever before. Our qualitative research on these evaluations has shown them to be over 90% positive, with students reporting changes in their own behavior and attitudes."

What You Can Do...

Although FCD does an amazing job at spreading awareness about substance abuse, each person can do his or her part when it comes to the fight against drug and alcohol addiction. Everyday, the youth of America is bombarded with messages from the media that engaging in drug use or consuming alcohol is essential to remaining "cool", or "sexy". Those who want to help others in this fight should realize that most people engage in these activities because of a certain desire or need. Therefore, finding an alternative to satisfy these things will in turn steer them away from drug and alcohol use.

Mary gave some concrete recommendations for parents, or simply peers that would like to extend a helping hand.
"There are many things that parents can do, or simply adults who work with kids: Talk to your kids, get to know their teachers and friends, set clear limits and consequences, as well as practicing these things yourself to be a good role model, help provide, fun, safe activities for your teens, and don't forget to educate yourself about drug, alcohol, and the ease of getting involved with these things at a young age."

Overall, parents and adult friends should realize that the health of the children of our nation depends upon the ability of organizations such as FCD to educate young people about the risks and realities of alcohol and other drugs. As long as everyone can get on board, we have a real chance at turning out a healthier and more responsible generation.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

Phone: 2039130483

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