Drug and Substance Abuse Prevention
By Myra Davis
You’ve probably heard drugs and alcohol talked about in school. You’ve heard that they’re bad, and that bad things can happen to the people who use them. But what’s really so bad? Why is there so much alarm over these two things? Unfortunately, there are a lot of tragedies that happen – like car crashes and accidental overdoses – that are solely due to the abuse of drugs and alcohol. There are a lot of organizations dedicated to raising awareness about these two things, and you can learn all about the facts, figures, and realities of these two substances from them. Check out the links below for more information.
- Get it Straight! The Truth About Drugs (PDF) – In this booklet designed specifically for students, the US Department of Justice offers a concise look at different kinds of drugs. An interview with a DEA agent and various drug prevention resources are also provided.
- Drugs and Your Body – You’ve probably heard that drugs are bad…but what makes them bad? Find out on this webpage from Scholastic, which explains, comic-book-style, what drugs do to your body.
- PEERx: Teen Prescription Drug Abuse – Not all drugs are illegal. Over-the-counter drugs can be just as dangerous, and it’s movements like PEERx that help save lives.
- Generation Rx (PDF) – Almost one out of every five teenagers reports using prescription drugs to reach a high. Learn more about prescription drug abuse here, and take a look at some of the additional resources.
- Xperiment: Drugs – What do drugs actually do to you? URL the Eyeball demonstrates what some of the effects of drugs can be.
- Illegal Drugs Summary Chart – It can be hard to tell if someone has been using drugs, or even what kind of drugs they’ve been using! This handy chart tells you about four different kinds of drugs, how they work, and what symptoms they have.
- Influence – This video, made by teens for teens, helps show how friends and peers can either be a great support team…or a bad influence. It also shows the consequences of deciding to do drugs.
- Illegal Drugs – Drugs aren’t good for anyone, but they’re especially bad for kids and teenagers whose bodies are still developing. Find out why, and what kinds of drugs there are, here at the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada.
- Cocaine Basement – Taking cocaine will alter the way you think, but it can also alter your personality. The Cocaine Basement, provided by Talk to Frank, can answer your questions about cocaine and what effects it has on the human body.
- Drug Guide – It can be useful to know what certain drugs look like. See pictures of some of the more popular drugs, like amphetamine, along with their “street names” and more facts about each one.
- Is Marijuana Addictive? – You may have heard that smoking marijuana isn’t that big of a deal. Find out what the White House has to say about it here.
- Real Stories: Cannabis – It’s one thing to hear about drugs from adults. It can seem hyped-up, or like they’re overreacting. Take a second to read some true stories from kids like you who’ve experimented with drugs and know for a fact what the consequences can be.
- Why Some People Take Drugs – If you like comics, this is the website for you! Learn why some people choose to take drugs with this interactive comic strip.
- The Truth About Drugs Booklet (PDF) – This is a good introduction to what drugs are and why people make the decision to take them. There are also some facts about drug use in the world today.
- Stephanie’s Diary – Stephanie is a regular sixteen year-old kid, but some of her friends are starting to experiment with drugs. Read her diary to find out how she handles the situation!
- Facts and Fiction – It can be hard to separate the facts about drug use from the stories and gossip about them. JustThinkTwice.com has a list of the most common myths, and the truth behind them.
- What Does Meth Do to Your Body? – Meth is a particularly dangerous drug. Find out why in this online Operation-style game.
- Drug Word Search Puzzle – Being able to say “no” to drugs means being a good citizen and a smart kid. Take a break and relax with this word search, which features words you’ve probably come across while learning about drugs.
- Natural High – A lot of kids do drugs to try and experience a state known as a “high.” But drugs aren’t the only way to feel a “high.” Check out the Natural High movement, which encourages kids to pursue things they love, like art, sports, and music, instead of drugs.
- What are the Risks? – One drink of alcohol can make you feel a bit loopy, but serious drinking, even in one night, can mean far more serious consequences. Learn what they are on this page from Rethinking Drinking.
- Alcohol Poisoning: A Medical Emergency – Even if you personally aren’t drinking, knowing the signs of alcohol poisoning can mean the difference between life and death for one of your friends. This webpage tells you what symptoms to look for and what to do.
- Alcohol and Caffeine: A Bad Buzz (PDF) – There are some alcoholic drinks that have caffeine in them, and drinking them may not seem as bad as drinking alcohol alone. After all, caffeine keeps you awake, right? However, mixing the two can actually make your body more prone to the effects of alcohol. Find out more with this handout from the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.
- Peer Pressure Bag of Tricks – Many kids try out alcohol because their friends pressure them into it. It’s tempting to think that these tricks won’t really work, but they very frequently do. Knowing what to watch out for can mean the difference between making the right choice and putting yourself into a lot of danger.
- What’s Up With Alcohol? – Alcohol affects more than just your head or your reflexes – it does something to pretty much every part of your body. Learn how alcohol affects each part of your body with this online interactive game.
- Drugs & Alcohol: Above the Influence – It’s important to know all the facts about alcohol to be able to make an informed decision about it. The Above the Influence website, designed specifically for young teenagers, has information on alcohol, drugs, and topics like peer pressure and bullying.
- Youth and Impaired Driving – You may not be driving yet, but chances are that you’re only a few years away from taking the wheel. When you do, it’s important to understand that your actions in a car have a much greater, more powerful effect. This website has some good statistics on the risks of drinking and driving.
- Alcohol and Pills – To fully understand the dangers of combining alcohol and drugs or pills, you need only think of how celebrities like Elvis Presley and, more recently, Corey Monteith tragically lost their lives. The Do It Now Foundation has a song that specifically addresses the risk, and pays tribute to the musicians who have died from an alcohol or drug overdose.
- Alcohol Education: How Does it Affect Us? – Alcohol can affect different people in different ways, but there are some constants as to how it interacts with the human body. The Bacchus Network explains the basic effects of drinking alcohol, and how too much of it can make you quickly spiral out of control.
- High Risk High: Personal Stories – Most kids tend to make the right decision about alcohol, but for the few who don’t, there are consequences. Watch these videos about middle school kids, and learn how their experiences with alcohol changed their lives.
- Alcohol Abuse Facts – Drinking alcohol slows your body down. Find out how it progresses, and what the risks of alcoholism are.
- Know What to Do in an Alcohol Emergency – What do you do if a friend is suffering from an alcohol overdose? Northwestern University has a simple, step-by-step list of instructions to follow.
- Alcohol: Getting the Right Message – Why are there laws about drinking? Find out why it’s important to be good to your body, and to keep alcohol out of it while you’re still growing up.
- Underage Drinking: Myths vs. Facts (PDF) – When it comes to underage drinking, you’ve probably heard other kids say that it’s not a big deal, especially if you only drink a little bit. Unfortunately, this isn’t true. Find out the truth about underage drinking in this downloadable booklet.
- Keeping Yourself Safe – It’s just as important to stay away from drunk drivers as it is to not drink yourself. This webpage has some great suggestions for saying “no” to alcohol.
- Alcohol: Thinking About Drinking – The ads you might see for alcohol will make it seem glamorous and fun. However, making an informed decision about alcohol means doing your research, and this website from PBS Kids has all the information you need to know.
- 11 Facts about Teens and Alcohol – Underage drinking is a serious problem. DoSomething.org has eleven sad facts about underage drinking.
- Look Out!: Alcohol – In this interactive online game, you can explore Cosmos Loop for information about alcohol and how to avoid it. There are mini games, facts, and fun surprises no matter where you click!
- Information about Alcohol – Did you know that drinking alcohol can cause bad breath? If you’re just looking for a quick overview on alcohol, this website has a brief summary of the important facts.
- What Can Alcohol Do to Your Body? – You may have heard of “hangovers,” and it’s true that people who drink often suffer from them. This short article talks about what else alcohol does to your body, and why it can be dangerous.