We are now embarking on beginning of the month of August. So we know what that means… BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!
However, it is safe to say that this new school year will begin like no other being amid a national (even global) pandemic with COVID-19 (coronavirus). There has been a lot of stress establishing meticulous safety precautions, remote learning capabilities, and ensuring all students, faculty, and staff are sufficiently equipped with the necessary tools to be safe while also providing a productive, remote learning atmosphere. With the current safety guidelines in places that favor remote learning, this can affect other school normalcies and experiences (e.g., delaying or suspending athletics, after school programs, clubs, school functions/dances, etc.). This can cause stress among students who may not have the opportunity to receive a “normal” school experience. This can also cause stress for parents who have to accommodate their household for students learning from home (e.g., staying home, being used to a full house during work hours, extra cooking/take-out for more meals, extra cleaning, etc.).
With these changes, it is important that we take advantage of this “extra quality time” to strengthen our families. CCAPSA, Inc. encourages parents to even further engage and take this time to have open and honest dialogues with their youth about healthy stress management and adaptability. We, as adults, should become the example by refraining from allowing disappointment, anxiety, stress from our changing situations, or even boredom to turn us to substance use, misuse, and/or abuse. Discuss the dangers of underage drinking, alcohol abuse, vaping/tobacco use, and the misuse of prescription (Rx) drugs with your teens. Having these conversations can deter them from thinking it is acceptable or beneficial for them to engage in such activities–voicing your opinions and expectations actually DO affect their choices.
Additionally, parents have the opportunity to become even better aware of their child’s activities and habits during this time with more time with everyone is under one roof. Teens being sneaky won’t be as easy, and changes in behavior can be noticed! With this, CCAPSA, Inc. also encourages parents to be sure all Rx medication and alcoholic beverages are securely locked up in a safe place away from minors. Removing the temptation and killing the curiosity may put a damper on their sneaky schemes, but prevents a lifetime’s worth of consequences.
Remember, we are all in this together! Although this school year may look a little different, we will get through it just as successfully as we have done all others.
Medication Abuse Prevention: Resource Guide
Find a Drug Take Back Location
“Talk. They Hear You.”®: SAMHSA Campaign
Download the “Talk. They Hear You.”® App or text “TALK” to 85775 for conversation starter ideas and tips!
Text “DITCHJUUL” to 887-09; Text “QUIT” to (202) 804-9884 for resources to quit vaping
Georgia Tobacco Quitline (GTQL): 1-877-270-STOP (877-270-7867)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Quitline: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)