When observing the schools in our communities, many choose not to notice that there is a serious problem concerning drug and substance abuse within the student population. Drug and alcohol abuse has become a serious problem for many students in the state of Alabama. There are over 40,000 adolescents in the state of Alabama that have used illegal drugs in this past month (Inspirations for Youth and Families, 2011). This is an alarming number that needs the support of the community, state funded programs, and the school district. There are currently over 15,000 youths in the state of Alabama that need help with substance abuse problems and are not receiving the proper care and help they deserve (Inspirations for Youth and Families, 2011). This community needs an at-risk program that targets the students who have become victim to drug and alcohol abuse.
Identifying students in our schools who may be using drugs or alcohol is not an easy task. There are several signs that students could convey during schools hours that draw the attention of teachers or classmates. This program will be available to any parents concerned about their children with substance abuse, or students exhibiting at-risk warning signs. Warning signs of an at-risk student that will be eligible for a drug and substance abuse program may exhibit several traits that set them apart from the rest of the student body.
These include smelling like alcohol or drugs, missing or skipping class, a dramatic change in academic involvement, trouble with authority, and getting involved in fights or showing an increase in aggressive behavior (Indiana University of Pennsylvania, 2012). Students who exhibit any of these signs would be recommended to participate in the drug and alcohol program. Periodic drug screenings in schools for students expressing these signs is another measure that will be taken to inform educators and parents of the students experimenting with illegal substances and need our help and support.
This drug and alcohol program will meet the needs of the students in our community by providing them a haven where they can turn without worrying about getting into trouble. This program is not meant to judge these students, but to help them overcome the pressure they feel from their peers and their habitual drug and alcohol abuse. This program will be in every school in the Montgomery County school district. It will target students in grades five through 12. The guidance offices will have specific laws and rules to abide by to find at-risk students and enter students into the drug and alcohol program. The guidance office will have the responsibility of meeting with students when there are not program meetings, keeping a log of the student’s success and information on the drug/alcohol abuse, drug screenings, parental involvement, and so forth.
Program meetings for all students involved in the drug and alcohol program will be held three times a month at the George Washing Carver High School Gymnasium, taking place after school for three hours from two in the afternoon to five in the evening. Buses will be supplied at all schools to transport the students to the main center at Carver High School, and then will be available to transport these students home. The staff at our meetings will include guidance counselors from every school in the district, teachers, and volunteers from the community. There will be a certified psychiatrist at every meeting to meet with students considered high-risk. If these high-risk students show signs of serious addiction or dependence, extra therapy sessions will be provided through the school district and rehabilitation options will be explored.
This drug and alcohol program will be supported by the Montgomery County Department of Human Resources and Covenant Health Centers who implement the Alabama Recovery Center. Both of these state departments will ensure the success of the drug and alcohol program so the students in our community have access to the best resources. The Montgomery Department of Human Resources has social workers who will be able to meet with at-risk and high-risk children and make contact with family members on the students’ behalf. All cases of adolescent drug abuse must be referred to DHR by state law. This resource will be both beneficial for the students and the community.
The Alabama Recovery Center have experienced and licensed staff that work with drug and alcohol abuse in adolescents through intensive out-patients treatments programs (Covenant Health Centers, 2012). They provide counseling options, individual or family oriented, to best meet the required needs of the student. Their substance abuse programs consist of a 12 week intensive outpatient program that includes after care programs and custom programs working in accordance with several state departments such as DHR (Covenant Health Centers, 2012). With the Montgomery County Department of Human Resources and the Alabama Recovery Center, this new drug and alcohol program will have the support it needs to become a success to our students and the community.
The positive impacts the drug and alcohol program would have on our community, schools, and school district are endless. The positive impact it would have on our community is to help adolescents that have fallen victim to drug and alcohol abuse and give them the support these students deserve. This will make sure that the children and teens in our community have a chance to a bright future to become productive citizens for this community. The positive impact this program will bring to our schools is intervention and honesty. Students can communicate with their teachers on a personal basis and let them into their private lives. This will allow the schools to become responsible concerning the essential help that is needed for at-risk students. It will give schools the chance to intervene in situations that involve drug and alcohol abuse.
Schools will be the most important level where the student body can be reached to deal with the issues of peer pressure and drug/substance abuse. This program will bring positive impacts to the school district by keeping drugs and alcohol off school campuses and away from the student body. The district will observe dramatic changes in the population of students who have abused drugs and alcohol. The district will reap these rewards by becoming part of a positive change by implementing this program. The school district will see the change in students. This will raise the educational rating of the schools in the district.
There are several steps necessary to implement this new drug and alcohol program. The first step is to find and receive funding for this drug and alcohol program. “The Department of Education’s Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program (SDFSP) provide funds for virtually every school district to support drug and violence prevention programs and to assist in creating and maintaining safe learning environments” (National Drug Control Policy, 1999, para.12). This is where our source of funding will come from.
Once we have received proper funding, the second step is to begin training the guidance counselors, teachers, and volunteers who will be helping this program. The third step is to inform the local community about the new drug and alcohol program to spread awareness. The fourth and final step is to present the at-risk program to the school district’s advisory board. They will make the final decision in regard to implementing the program throughout the schools in the district
The drug and alcohol program involving the adolescents in our school systems is a serious concern this community needs to address. This program is planned to target at-risk students by giving them a way to recover from their substance abuse. There are over 40,000 adolescents in the state of Alabama who need help concerning drug and alcohol addiction. The schools in our district are the best ways to identify these students and reach them with kindness, caring, and help. If this district were to implement this program, the student body in the Montgomery County school district will reap essential rewards. These students will have a chance at becoming productive citizens of the community. These students will have a chance to break the substance abuse cycle and become something that we all hope our children will and can become. This drug and alcohol program can bring light into the lives of many students suffering from addiction in our community. It is our job as educators and members of this community to help and give at-risk students a chance.
Covenant Health Centers. (2012). Alabama Recovery Center. Retrieved from http://www.covenanthealthcenters.com/alabama-recovery-center/ Indiana University of Pennsylvania. (2012). Identifying and Confronting Students At-Risk. Retrieved from http://www.iup.edu/page.aspx?id=45873
Inspirations for Youth and Families. (2011). Drug and Alcohol Abuse Among
Teens in Alabama. Retrieved from http://www.inspirationsyouth.com/Teen-Rehab-Alabama.asp National Drug Control Policy. (1999). Preventing Drug Abuse. Retrieved from https://www.ncjrs.gov/ondcppubs/publications/policy/99ndcs/iv-b.html