Many community leaders, including myself and Mrs. Graham met two weeks ago for a follow-up discussion of how to minimize drug and alcohol abuse in our community, especially in our schools. The meeting was kindly hosted by Nativity parish. Many of the participants were faculty, staff or volunteers of the high school.
We listened to a presentation by Caron Institute on drug education and prevention in a community using a model they have tested in a town in Connecticut. Brainstorming, small group process (groan!) was done on three questions, perhaps most importantly, who should be involved in the education/prevention process. A group of individuals were identified and will be invited to participate in the ongoing planning discussions.
Opinions were varied and ranged between the view that education of the community about the dangers of addictions would be effective, while others insisted that only a strict enforcement of a consequence-based policy of sobriety within the school and community would be effective.
It seems to me there is not only one correct measure to take, otherwise the solution would be self-evident. So far, not so good. I hope the group finds direction; it's such an important problem to prevent in the first place if possible, and if young people are addicted to detect it to save lives.
Meantime, we have had at least two presentations and discussions with parents of our children about the extent of drug and alcohol abuse among the young people in our area. It's important for us, even as a community with a grammar school to educate our children, and be vigilant about how they spend their free time especially as they transition from grammar school to high school.
We'll keep you posted about further developments.