On Thursday, Oct. 10, students in Sneha Verelst's 8th grade Health Class were visited by volunteer speakers from the Sizer School community who gathered to share personal and professional stories related to addiction, drug use and abuse. Each speaker was given 10-15 minutes to share their professional anecdotes and experiences with students and at the end, time was given for answering questions from the students.
According to recent statistical data collected by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco are substances most commonly used by adolescents.*
Their findings indicate that by 12th grade, about two-thirds of students have tried alcohol, about half of 9th through 12th grade students reported ever having used marijuana, about 4 in 10 9th through 12th grade students reported having tried cigarettes; and among 12th graders, close to 2 in 10 reported using prescription medicine without a prescription.*
Being able to relate the important topic of drugs in society to real world experiences and to people, not just statistics, changed the way many students understood drug abuse and addiction.
* “Teen Substance Use & Risks”, https://www.cdc.gov/features/teen-substance-use/index.html