Harbor provides prevention programs on alcohol, tobacco, drugs, and violence to schools and community groups throughout Lucas County.
Youth and Drugs
Why is Drug Prevention Awareness important for youth?
There are several reasons youth start to use drugs. Some believe drugs will help them think better, be more popular, or become better in their athletics. Others may just be curious and figure one try won’t hurt. Many young people begin to use drugs because they’re depressed and think that the drugs will help them escape their problems. Some of the drugs used are cigarettes (nicotine), marijuana, and inhalants.
Known Facts about Nicotine, Marijuana and Inhalants
Nicotine is the stimulant in tobacco. Nicotine can be chewed and smoked from cigarettes or cigars. Twenty percent of high school students smoke. Marijuana is known as the ‘gateway’ drug because it can frequently lead to the use of stronger drugs. Inhalants are substances that are used for an immediate rush or high. They include some common household products, such as glue, paint thinners, felt-tip marker fluid, and spray paints. Many are highly addictive and once a child starts it may become hard for him/her to stop.
What are inhalants?
Inhalants are ordinary household products that are sniffed, snorted, “bagged” (fumes inhaled from a plastic bag), or “huffed” (inhalant-soaked rag, sock or paper towel).
Project ALERT Program-
Motivates the students against drug use, provides skills and strategies to resist drugs, and establishes some new non-use attitudes and beliefs. Project ALERT focuses on why people use and don’t use drugs, consequences of smoking cigarettes and marijuana, drinking consequences and alternatives, internal and external pressures to use, inhalant abuse and resistance skills. The Project ALERT program is a 12 week program and teaches the whole classroom by coming in once a week for forty-five minutes to an hour. Grades 6th through 8th.
Known facts about Alcohol
The use of alcohol is getting greater because alcohol is the number one drug of choice for younger students. Many kids have their first drink at age 10 or 11. Children experiment with alcohol because they are under the impression that drinking will make them cooler. They get their ideas of being cool from peer-pressure, magazines, tv shows and commercials. Students who drink often have problems with school. Drinking can damage a student’s ability to study well and get decent grades, as well as affect sports performance. Drinking often can lead to binge drinking. Binge drinking is considered having five or more drinks in a row. In the 2010 Lucas County Youth Survey, when asked about binge drinking, 54.5% of the students reported binge drinking 1-2 times and 7% of the students reported binge drinking 11 or more times in the last 30 days. The consequences from drinking alcohol can be severe and put their health at risk.
What is alcohol?
Alcohol is considered a psychoactive drug and has the effects of a depressant. It can change a person’s ability to speak, along with his/her perceptions, emotions, along with their vision and hearing.
Protecting You, Protecting Me Program-
Prevents the injury and death of children and youth due to underage consumption of alcoholic beverages and vehicle-related risks. The program focuses on our brain, growth and development, health and safety, rules and laws, friends, choices and decisions, media awareness, and communication. The Protecting You, Protecting Me program is a 10 week program and teaches the whole classroom by coming in once a week for forty-five minutes to an hour. Grades 1st through 5th.
Children and Emotions
Social and emotional skills give children a foundation for learning. Younger children may not know how to handle the emotions they are feeling. The way a child feels on the inside is important. It can be hard for them to tell someone if they are feeling sad, worried, or upset. Sometimes it can lead to hurting others. Bullying others is a way for the bully to feel good. It is also an unsuccessful way to deal with their emotions. The other child can feel scared, afraid to tell someone, and may not want to come to school. If a child is not happy at school, it is usually because of some problem or strong emotions towards the problem. At times, the problem can be bullying or a problem at home. The school’s teachers, nurse, and counselor should look out for any signs of emotional distress from all the children in school. Research shows an important connection between the child’s social and emotional skills and their academic achievements.
Why is Self Esteem important for youth?
Children and teens have a mental picture of who they are, what they need to look like, what they are good at, and what their weakness might be. The mental picture (our self-image) we have of ourselves contributes to our self-esteem. A person with low self-esteem may feel as if no one will like them enough to be their friend or that they feel as though they cannot do anything good enough. Self-esteem issues can be caused by how others see or treat us and how we see ourselves. A child or teen with a strong self-esteem can help them navigate through puberty, reduce having negative thoughts, set goals, try new things out and make new friends. Most importantly have fun and be proud of who they are.
What is empathy?
The way a person feels on the inside is important. It can be hard to tell if anyone is feeling sad, worried, or upset. Empathy is the ability to identify or experience the feelings, thoughts or attitudes of others.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is an overwhelming sense of fear often caused by a concerning threat and self-doubt about your capability of handling that threat.
Some causes of anxiety can be:
- A personality trait
- Stressful situations, examples are homework, deadlines or exams
- Family problems
- A trauma
Five ways to deal with anxiety. According to kidshealth.org, there are many ways that children and teens can deal with anxiety in their lives:
- Get enough sleep, nourishment and exercise
- Connect with others
- Connect with nature
- Think positive
Life Skills Training-
This program promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities rather than teaching information about the dangers of drug abuse. Life Skills focuses on self-esteem, decision making, smoking facts, advertising, stress, communication, social skills, and assertiveness. The Life Skills training is a 10 week program and teaches the whole classroom by coming in once a week for forty-five minutes to an hour. Grades 3rd through 6th.
Reconnecting Youth (RY) is a school-based prevention program for youth (Grades 9th through 12th) at risk for school dropout. These youth also may exhibit multiple behavior problems, such as substance abuse, aggression, depression, or suicide risk behaviors. Reconnecting Youth uses a partnership model involving peers, school personnel, and parents to deliver interventions that address the three central program goals: decreased drug involvement, increased school performance, decreased emotional distress. Proven results are improved grades and school attendance, reduced drug involvement and decreased emotional distress. (This program is ONLY available at Fulton Achievement Center)