Overcoming addiction a shared goal
A huge thank you to the DuPage County Board and our school districts for their tireless efforts to combat the epidemic of heroin use and deaths caused by overdoses.
Over three years ago, the education community partnered with the county to better educate our youth about the dangers of heroin -- and all forms of substance abuse. The county and various communities have implemented a multitude of these events and programs, some of which were incorporated into a collective strategy including anti-heroin summits, lesson plans, and multidisciplinary drug awareness curriculums.
We have sought input from parents and students to strengthen the ability to identify and assist students at risk. Partnerships have been formed with such anti-drug organizations as Robert Crown Center and Parents Matter Too.
Our schools work with parents and their children to address and provide support for emotional stress and mental illness challenges. Social workers, school counselors, deans, assistant principals, and principals meet regularly to bring forth the best practices and strategies that they are using to achieve results and for other districts and organizations to emulate.
Perhaps the schools' most important work is teaching students how to be successful in school and life. Not every child is prepared to make good decisions or has learned to manage emotions constructively. Teachers help students develop skills and strategies that assist them in overcoming unhealthy peer pressure and resisting drug abuse. Mastering these skills enables students to better handle stress, control impulses, and motivate perseverance in overcoming obstacles and achieving goals. Research indicates this improves students' social and emotional development, behavior, and academic performance.
We face many challenges in our efforts to prevent drug abuse. The diversity of communities, schools and individuals call for myriad programs and approaches, united by our shared goal: to end this epidemic that has impacted all of us.
Coordinator of Administrative Services
DuPage Regional Office of Education