CPC director would like coalition formed for drug prevention in elementary-school aged children

Published 3:39 am Saturday, February 4, 2017

The Children’s Policy Council Coalition’s Drug Free Communities Grant will end in 2019.

Director Susan Short said that, while the Children’s Policy Council is not eligible for the grant again, she’s hoping that another group will form a new coalition and target elementary school aged children in the area of drug prevention.

The Children’s Policy Council’s grant has been for grades six through 12 and at the end of the grant period will have benefitted Covington County for a decade.

“A school system would be the perfect choice,” she said. “Some schools in larger places start drug prevention in kindergarten using puppets and talking to kids about feelings, happy, mad, glad, sad. Most think that people take drugs to change the way they feel. We used the BABES program at the Council of Substance Abuse in Montgomery years ago when I worked there. They could have a drug prevention coordinator on staff.”

As part of the DFC grant, awarded coalitions receive up to $125,000 per year for five years and can apply for a second five-year funding cycle in year six.

The DFC program has two goals:

  • Establish and strengthen collaboration among communities, public and private non-profit agencies; as well as federal, state, local and tribal governments to support the efforts of community coalitions working to prevent and reduce substance use among youth.
  • Reduce substance use among youth and, over time, reduce substance abuse among adults by addressing the factors in a community that increase the risk of substance abuse and promoting the factors that minimize the risk of substance abuse.

The grant is administered through Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

If the community takes into consideration the PRIDE survey results, where there are sixth graders who have used alcohol and drugs in the past 30 days, there is a growing need for teaching drug prevention at an early age.

Narconon offers 12 tips on educating kids on drugs.

  • Talk to them about drugs. And do it often. Keeping this dialogue open is important for children to learn about drugs and the harm they cause.
  • Start educating children at an early age. Young children value adults’ opinions on what is good and what is bad.
  • Research the facts about drugs. Make sure you know what is fact and fiction on drugs, so that you may answer a child’s questions.
  • Keep an open line of communication. Be the safe person for children to talk to.
  • Define addiction to children. Let them know that drinking alcohol or using drugs is habit forming and breaking habits is difficult.
  • Define what a drug is for children. Let them know that drugs are poisons.
  • Be strong in your own viewpoint about drugs. Let them know that drug and alcohol use can lead to them harming others or themselves. Talk to them about no driving under the influence.
  • Know who they are hanging out with. Know who they interact with and what they are doing.
  • Discuss what TV and movies really are. Don’t let children think that smoking, drinking and doing drugs is glamorous as shown on TV.
  • Give children a free drug education kit they can check out themselves.
  • Praise kids when they do right.
  • If you are abusing drugs, get help. Using drugs in your home, can make it hard to convince children to go down a different path.