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Seniors Learn about Substance Use and Abuse Prevention

As part of the substance use and abuse curriculum that students receive at O’Dowd, the senior class attended a presentation on the health risks associated with alcohol, nicotine and marijuana use. The senior class meeting took place during MP on Thursday, September 13. O’Dowd partnered with Being Adept, a Bay Area non-profit drug and alcohol abuse prevention program. Being Adept also presented to the parent community on September 5, 2018.

The presentation began with youth educator Chris Schwartz-Edmisten reviewing basic adolescent brain development emphasizing the vulnerability of the teenage brain to addiction. Next, youth educator Ashley Brady covered the specific harms associated with drinking alcohol, vaping nicotine and using marijuana. Finally, Mike Guinasso spoke to the students about his own journey through addiction and recovery.

The approach of Being Adept to substance use and abuse prevention is philosophically aligned with the Health and Wellness initiatives in our culture of care. Students are presented with information so that they can make informed choices that are consistent with what they know about themselves, their bodies and their relationships. Our primary goal is to empower and equipped students, not scare and restrict.

Freshmen, sophomores and juniors learn about substance use and abuse prevention as part of BOWOW, Health class, and Christian Morality, respectively. Freshmen complete Alcohol-Wise, an online course designed to educate students about the harmful effects of alcohol and encourage honest reflection about choices and values. Sophomores learn about risks and harms associated with substance use and abuse in a complete unit in Health class. Juniors complete Marijuana-Wise, an online course designed as a prevention tool for future marijuana use, as part of a unit in the Christian Morality course focused on being in integrity with self and others and making choices that are aligned with values.


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