There are some practical do’s and don’ts that teachers may consider when speaking to children about drugs and alcohol. The goal should be to effectively promote zero tolerance and the health consequences associated with drug and alcohol use.
Do’s & Don’ts
Do explain and provide visual aid on the dangers associated with drugs and alcohol, using language they understand.
Don’t react negatively, such as depicting anger or frustration when they make statements you may not like or agree with.
Do explain in detail why they should avoid using drugs or alcohol; use visual aids. Explain how drugs can impact health, concentration, and the things they enjoy.
Don’t expect the conversation to go smoothly and be without road bumps.
Do make a point of always being available to a student when they want to talk, especially if you suspect something is happening. The moment they are brushed aside, they will likely never open up.
Don’t assume they know how to handle peer pressure. Provide visual aids and practical knowledge, teaching them how to say no, and rehearse this with them.
Do praise them when they deserve to be praised, as this helps with self-esteem and feeling confident when speaking about a difficult situation.
Don’t provide inaccurate facts about drugs or alcohol. Show them factual information and promise to find the answers they are looking for.
Do help students understand consequences, such as how it could get them in trouble at school and impact their academic performance.
Don’t avoid seeking professional help, such as from drug education and prevention professionals.