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Drug Prevention Programming in School Districts

Youth today are faced with many challenges. Few have the potential to affect their lives as greatly as their decisions about using drugs and alcohol. These choices can impact a young person’s health, relationships, grades, career, and even their freedom.

The Mental Health & Recovery Board of Portage County is working with Townhall II and the school districts in the county to protect our youth and reduce the risk of drug and alcohol problems through drug prevention programs.

During the 2015-2016 school year, over 1500 students were educated the topic of alcohol and drug prevention. The Mental Health & Recovery Board funds prevention specialists from Townhall II to go into the classrooms to teach either the “Too Good for Drugs” or the “Project Alert” program.

Too Good for Drugs is taught in ten sessions and is offered to kindergarten through 5th grade students. The program helps students develop goal-setting, decision making and effective communication skills. Additionally, the Too Good program offers skills for addressing peer pressure, refusal skills, pro-social bonding, conflict resolution, and media literacy.

Project Alert is a prevention program designated to motivate pre-adolescents against drug use, teach pre-adolescents the skills and strategies needed to resist pro-drug pressures, and establish nondrug-using norms. This 11 session class is offered for middle school age students.

“The schools that implement Too Good for Drugs and Project Alert are very happy with the program and are very eager to book the programs each year,” said Sarah McCully, Prevention and Outreach Manager at Townhall II. “We have also been receiving positive feedback from the students who participate due to the interactive nature of the curriculum. Although most of the school districts in Portage County are participating in at least one of these programs, our hope is to reach 100% participation from the schools in the future and reach as many grades as possible.”

Townhall II also offers a 6 week family education program called Families First for parents and their children. The program focuses on parenting skill building such as positive discipline techniques, problem solving, self-esteem building, and understanding of child development, and substance abuse. The families engage in a free dinner and family activity before the sessions. Townhall II also offers a class for those who have family member or loved one who is struggling with addiction. For information on these classes, contact Townhall II at 330-678-3006.

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