Teen Dating Violence and Drug Awareness-May 2015

This month our 6th grade cohort came together to discuss teen dating violence and drug awareness. They were really surprised by some of the facts surrounding these important and scary topics, such as;

-1.5 million high school students are physically abused by their partners every year₁
-1 in 3 seventh grade students report being a victim of dating violence₁
-44% of all students have been in an abusive relationship by the time they graduate from college₁

Dating-Violence-infographic-Sept-2014-The-Numbers-small

Dating-Violence-infographic-Sept-2014-The-Impact-small

Dating-Violence-infographic-Sept-2014-The-Use-of-Technology-in-Abusive-Relationships-small

Dating-Violence-infographic-Sept-2014-The-Types-of-Abuse-small
The students were given tips on what to do if they are in such a relationship, like always knowing important phone numbers, talking to trusted adults, and being aware of your surroundings.

As the group moved from teen dating violence onto drug awareness the mentors and students got into pairs and acted out that they were giving each other ‘the talk on drugs’ One of our student’s, Callia, told her mentor that drugs are “Horrible, they are bad for you, addictive, lots of different kinds, illegal, rehab, can affect your future if you are under 21 and using legal drugs”.
DSCN4321

As a group we took the 2015 National Drug IQ Challenge quiz from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. We were surprised by many of the answers, and many topics had to be further researched as many of the mentors were not sure what some of the mentioned drugs were.
We went through and talked about the many statistics of the more common drugs, with the most alarming as follows:

-1% of eighth graders have used powder cocaine in the last year₂
-.05% of eighth graders have used heroin in the last year₂
-6.2% of eighth graders have abused inhalants in the last year₂
-66% of eighth graders don’t think trying inhalants is risky₂
-2% of eighth graders have used MDMA (ecstasy) in the last year₂
-1% of eighth graders have used meth in the last year₂
-2000 teenagers use prescription drugs every day₂
-6.5% of eighth graders use marijuana in the last month₂

The group was alarmed. At the very end of our session, everyone had an opportunity to write what they learned, and what their biggest take away was on our graffiti wall.

Along with those takeaways, everyone got to take home 2 books, Marijuana Facts for Teens, and Drugs: Shatter the Myths, both published and distributed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

References:

₁ www.stoptdv.org
₂ Facts acquired from the 2012 Monitoring the Future Study, a NIDA funded Study