The inception of this program began when we were unable to find a drug prevention program for our community. There has always been the wonderful D.A.R.E program, but that targets younger students. We needed to find a program that could be used in the upper grades of middle school and the high school. The theory was simple enough; drug abuse begins in the middle school and high school grades, so a focus needed to be directed to prevention for these students. As a result of this need, we soon realized that a drug prevention program would need to be personally developed to address the needs of individual communities. The program then recruited experts in various fields of drug prevention, law enforcement, social services, youth services, drug rehab specialists, medical personnel and other specialists in related fields.
This course shows how drug abuse can affect their lives from numerous points of view. These views include law enforcement, the court system, health practitioners, educators, college and military recruiters and social workers. The program will also reach out and educate parents on how to apply drug prevention techniques as well as recognize symptoms of drug abuse. It will show them the resources available to help them guide their children through their academic career. This information will be disseminated through town hall meetings, media coverage, promotional materials and endorsements of the project. It is also a goal of this project to solicit cooperation from the local pharmacies. This will be a vital link in allowing us to educate the parents through informational literature as they receive their prescriptions.
This program will include a wide variety of instruction techniques including but not limited to class room instruction, internet courses, displays and activities, hands on exercises, and real life testimonials. The GUIDE program is being taught throughout the school year and has already been added to the curriculum at the Bellbrook Middle School and now in the Bellefontaine School district .The nexus will also be put in place for a Student Advisory Board that will include the school resource officer and school faculty member participation. This advisory board will be a voice for the students and play a key role in understanding the problems and influences teenagers face in regards to drug abuse.
The program will include an ongoing evaluation of current trends in drug abuse prevention techniques and application as well as community awareness and participation. An important component of this project is maintaining communication among agencies and the community.This program has been designed to be flexible enough to be tailored to any community but be specific enough to be consistent in its application. The program will continually seek council and participation from all social services and current drug prevention specialists to insure the program is validated and endorsed.
In closing, the GUIDE program will be considered a complete success if only one student is convinced that using drugs is the wrong decision to make and that decision would prevent them from reaching their full potential. The ultimate goal of this project is to reach out to our students and guide them in making the right decisions.