Ohio Dept. of Higher Education Considering Adding Substance Abuse Prevention to Curriculum

Last Updated: November 10, 2022

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Ohio’s Department of Higher Education is considering including education regarding drug abuse and teaching drug abuse prevention to soon-to-be teachers in the state.

For years, the Ohio Department of Higher Education has added pertinent topics to the curriculum for teachers. In addition to covering a variety of teaching methods, subject matter-specific curriculum, and education regarding the different types of learners teachers will encounter while pursuing a teaching career, the department has also covered relevant topics such as crisis prevention and behavior management for the classroom.

Now, however, one of the most common issues new teachers might face in the classroom is having students who abuse drugs or who live with adults who do so. Thus, teachers need training in how to deal with the opioid crisis in the classroom.

Ohio’s Deadly Opioid Obsession

Ohio is one of the areas in the country being hit the hardest by the opioid crisis. The Opiate Action Team reports that in 2016, unintentional drug overdoses caused the deaths of 4,050 Ohio residents. Unfortunately, the numbers are not going down as of yet.

It is hoped that by including education about substance abuse prevention at the school level, a new generation of Ohioans can avoid the lure of drug use and help stem the tide of the crisis one child at a time.

Education the Key to Prevention

Before effective education can take place in children’s classrooms, teachers themselves must be taught about substance abuse prevention strategies. To that end, teacher education programs in Ohio are now focusing on equipping future teachers to guide their classes appropriately regarding prevention of drug abuse. Cleveland.com shares some of the main concepts teachers are learning, including:

  • Information on the magnitude of opioid and other substance abuse
  • The role educators and other school personnel can play in educating students about the adverse effects of opioid and other substance abuse
  • Resources available to teach students about the consequences of opioid and substance abuse
  • Resources available to help fight and treat opioid abuse

This education falls under the HOPE curriculum initiative, which stands for Health and Opioid Prevention Education. With the help of teachers, health educators, and school personnel, the goal is to teach students to prevent opioid abuse before it happens. By teaching drug awareness in the school systems, perhaps teachers can reach the most at-risk populations among the student body.

Some of the risk factors for students are:

  • Early aggressive behavior
  • Lack of parental support
  • Substance abuse
  • Drug availability
  • Poverty

Because many of the students who are at higher risk do not have the parental network to help them understand the dangers of using opioids, educators play an essential role in teaching responsible behavior regarding drug use. Even in cases where parents of school-age children are abusing drugs, teachers can do much to help young ones avoid following destructive behaviors they see at home. The earlier education starts, the better the chances are for reaching these students and stopping the cycle of substance abuse.

Where Prevention Fails, Treatment Can Succeed

Prevention is the best line of defense against drug abuse. However, once someone is addicted, he or she needs more than education about drugs. Addiction treatment is the answer. For Ohio drug abuse and addiction, experts in treatment facilities can help. With caring, holistic, supportive treatment, it is possible to stop abusing drugs and regain a life free from addiction.

If you or any of your loved ones are battling an addiction disorder now, please do not wait another day. Embrace your freedom from enslavement to drugs by contacting us. With just one call, you can learn about admission and all the treatment options available to you. Call now. We are ready to help.

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