This week our grades 9 and 10 classes hosted Brian Hall-Stevenson, retired substance abuse prevention expert, who discussed alcohol and drugs in the context of societal and individual usage. Mr. Hall-Stevenson did not employ the strategies often used by drug awareness presenters, as offering scare tactics, demoralizing, and mandating “say no to drugs” do not resonate for most. Rather, he led an open discussion about alcohol and drugs, including prescription drugs and substances readily available at many parties, and about making smart decisions and keeping oneself and friends safe from harm.
The session examined a continuum of possible drug use. For example, many teenagers choose not to use drugs at all. Others may experiment a couple times while others might engage in drug use occasionally and/or socially. Some, and this is a small group, may use drugs regularly or become dependent, which creates difficulties for themselves and for those who care about them.
Students learned that those who regularly use alcohol, marijuana and other street drugs during their teenage years often compound other issues in their lives. Those wise enough to delay such use until adulthood are less likely to abuse alcohol or other substances and are more apt to approach possible future use safely.
Thank you, Mr. Hall-Stevenson, for this critical information and candid, enlightened discussion.