“You may not realize it, but you have the ability to improve health and help prevent illness in your community for decades and beyond. The long-term benefits are better physical health, improved mental health and even the prevention of addiction. Children are the next generation of parents and business leaders, farmers and scientists, so it’s important to guard all kids in the community against toxic stress and to nurture their bodies and brains.” http://www.brainstory.org/
Alberta Family Wellness Initiative
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In this NPR story from Kutztown, PA, guidance counselor Andrew Brett shares, “Kids aren’t afraid of it,” he tells me. “Years ago, it was,’Well, heroin is for junkies.’ And you had to be pretty low, and that was the perception. Well, that’s not the perception. It’s available and it’s cheap. And it’s readily available in our community.” He goes on to say that he has seen a recent pattern: kids who start with pot may pivot to prescription painkillers and sometimes — across the spectrum, from the highest achievers on down — to heroin.
When the student assistance team wants to intervene, they approach the student’s parents first, and school superintendent Kathy Metrick says that conversation doesn’t always go so well: “I sat across the table from a parent whose child had been found in possession of all sorts of paraphernalia, and she said he was picking up trash off the street, that he would never do that.”
Metrick goes on, “The denial is just so powerful. And you want to say, ‘Please save your child!’ Because, if we’re wrong, yay! That would be the best news ever. But gosh, if we’re right and we have a chance to step in now before it’s too late, let’s do that.”