Friday, February 19, 2016

Life Skills Training and Drug Misuse


Here is the link to the article.

In health class, we learned that drugs can negatively impact the teenager's brain, particularly when parts of the brain, such as the Pre-Frontal Cortex are undeveloped. As such, this article is significant because it helps prevent drug use in adolescents to prevent brain damage during this very important part of development.

Personally, I believe that such a program can benefit many teens, especially when it is presented before a teen is exposed to drugs. Life skills training could be effective in many other areas, and I believe this would be a good use of school resources to help prevent problems down the road. My parents provided me with a lot of support so that I would avoid drugs, but in some cases where the family is unwilling to talk about these sensitive issues, this is a good solution.

Do you think this program outweighs the cost and would you attend it? Furthermore, do you think there could be any other benefits of life skills training?

For more information, the full research paper is here.

9 comments:

  1. I think this would be an effective program (as the study conducted shows). I also think that it would be commercially feasible. It seems to be stopping the problem before it starts/when the consequences of it happening aren't very big. It would be a lot cheaper to teach 30 kids the things that are wrong about doing drugs then the medical bills for 30 adults in for a heroin overdose (worst case scenario). It isn't an urgently needed program, which is why I can see people being hesitant to pay for it, but it is necessary nonetheless.

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  2. In my opinion, the Life Skills Training program is absolutely necessary and should be implemented in all schools if possible. Throughout my early school years, we were never really given extensive classes on avoiding drugs or learning how to identify certain situations, and through these early school years are when students begin experimenting with drugs. Like the article mentioned, they conduct role playing, games, and assignments to develop drug resistant skills. Life training classes need to be implemented early in a child's life before they are exposed to drugs without knowing the consequences or effects. I believe that the cost is well worth the reward even if it changes only a few kids' life. Life training programs should be taken more seriously as a requirement in early education.

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    1. I could not agree more. In fact, I think that LST should be implemented much earlier than 7th grade, as although many drugs advertise their containers as "child-proof," it says right on the bottle how to open them so any child who knows how to read is well on their way to heroin addiction. I was one such child who got into my parent's ̶h̶e̶r̶o̶i̶n̶ drug cabinet at an early age. Although I did little more than binge on Flinstone's vitamins, one shudders to think what the affects would have been if those gummies had disguised methamphetamine rather than dietary supplements.

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  3. I think this program might work in a small scale, but not on a larger one. I also believe that if athletes are dumb enough to start using opioids to increase their performance in-game, they can suffer the consequences later in life. One point of the article that I disagree with is that kids "practiced saying no to drugs". This (in my opinion) is a very dumb statement, as if they recreated the EXACT scenario most likely to get kids to take drugs, most of them would. "Practicing saying no" never works, it just reassures overprotective parents that the school is doing something to try and remedy the situation if it is getting out of control in their area.

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    1. While I agree that kids may misuse drugs even if they say no, I believe that any program can be useful. Of course, in order for this program to be effective, other mentors, such as parents and coaches, should encourage kids not to use drugs. In many cases, athletes use drugs if they feel inferior or if their support system is not strong enough to create the illusion that they will be better off. Furthermore, I believe that parents are not being overprotective by asking schools to have kids practice saying no. Schools can be a valuable resource that provide kids with an opportunity to understand why drugs are harmful. While the program is by no means perfect, it can be the difference for some between abusing drugs and leading a productive life.

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  4. I believe that this program will be a very useful and successful program as the graph shows. But on the other hand I feel kids now a days do not really listen to what others say. I think in order for kids to stop during drugs there going to need go to people that give high authority. And when they start to see the consequences of during them it will scare them and they will stop and think about what they are doing. But it's a great thing to see schools starting to do that. They should keep doing that and making even more programs.

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  5. It's really fifty-fifty with the success of this program, personally I believe that it is a waste of resources. It should be on the parents to guide their children away from drugs. Other than that life skills are pretty important maybe there could be a program for that. Kids are very different these days and who knows what the future generations will be like. I say let them go and take life by the reins, and if drugs and bad decisions landed in their hands. All you can do is hope they learned their lesson and will use their life skills next time.

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  6. I have heard of this program before, but I didn't remember anything about this until I read this article/part of the research. I agree, because I think that these programs can really benefit student's by informing them about things like drug misuse. I like how the article put the purpose of LST programs by saying it "helps children avoid misusing prescription opioids throughout their teen years." Informing all student's about things like this is crucial from what I believe because they need to know how harmful these things could be instead of going into this area blind basically, not having been taught anything about this topic. Personally, think there shouldn't be a fee for this program and it should be classified as public health. I would although pay for it because I think it will teach necessary information in a safe environment.

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  7. I, personally, don't believe that this program would work. In the article it referenced that the program focuses on saying no to drugs and avoiding peer pressure. At least from my perspective I don't think that will help because I have never been peer pressured to do drugs and I don't know anyone else that has. I believe that this program implements outdated ideas. I would also like to see more research on this trial especially in a place like New Hampshire where the Heroin problem is very bad. I believe that schools should focus more on skills that could help students later on in life or fix outdated textbooks specifically for schools that lack funding. However, I am glad that you brought this to attention because heroin usage is a growing concern in this country as there has been a 63% growth in the United States in the last 11 years.

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