'Scared straight' response: Teachers don't use fear in drug, alcohol lessons
I am a health educator at Cleveland High School, where Griffin Jourda goes to school ("'Scared straight' teaching approach doesn't help students in real-life drug, alcohol situations," Feb. 24).
I want to share some of the many resources we use, as well as the discussions we have, within our drugs and addiction unit. Our department takes our responsibility as health educators very seriously.
We approach all of our health units as an opportunity to empower, inform and help our students think critically about health.
We approach all of our health units as an opportunity to empower, inform and help our students think critically about health. We also guide students to access reliable, valuable information and resources. We purposely strive against sensationalizing or "scaring" students in our approach and find that using fear as a motivational factor can in fact have the opposite effect.
Here is a list of resources and topics we cover to prompt discussions and learning in our drugs and addiction unit at Cleveland:
- We use the University of Utah's interactive website, "Science of Addiction: Genetics and the Brain" to help introduce our students to the complexities of brain research and the influence genetics and setting can have on drug use and abuse.
- We analyze different variables (risk factors vs. protective factors) that could make a person more vulnerable to addiction.
- We look at the development of the adolescent brain and the effect that drug use can have on the reward pathways.
- We use the The New York Times' Learning Network program "Redefining Addiction" to assist us in understanding how addiction can have both physiological and behavioral effects.
- We question and discuss the toll many of the most prevalent drugs in our culture have on a personal level and the impact they have on our local 'Scared straight' response: Teachers don't use fear in drug, alcohol lessons (Opinion) | OregonLive.com: