How can Teachers Help Students who Abuse Substances?
As a teacher it can be difficult to watch students fall victims to drug and alcohol abuse. Unfortunately, it happens far more frequently than most would like. There are programs for teachers such as The Foundation for a Drug Free World, but these programs are not always enough to help those most in need of guidance and education about drugs. There are ways that teachers can help students with substance abuse programs overcome their addiction.
Teaching Students about the Dangers of Drugs
Most help from teachers starts with educating students about the dangers of drugs. Although a student might already be a user, sometimes showing them the danger that they are putting themselves in is enough to cause them to seek help. Many students do not know or believe how dangerous drugs can be. By teaching them the dangers, a teacher might be able to encourage them to quit. Each drug has different dangers and if they are approached individually, a teacher might have a better chance at getting to a student who is abusing substances.
Speak to them at their Level
Most teachers know that in order for students to learn, you have to speak to them at their level. This is the same for a student that is abusing a substance. By speaking to them on a level that they understand, it might be possible to get through to them without resorting to using authority. It is always best for the student to come to the conclusion that their addiction is harmful on their own. This is not to say that intervention is unnecessary, just that it is easier when the student recognizes the behavior has harmful.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
By keeping the lines of communication open between teacher and student, a student is more likely to disclose substance abuse or issues with other students. This is particularly helpful with older students. If the relationship between teacher and student is not adversarial the student is more likely to open up to the teacher about their substance abuse.
Many people who abuse substances realize that there is a problem on their own. They might even want treatment but have no idea how to obtain it without reprisal. With open dialogue between student and teacher, a teacher has the chance to guide the student into treatment or frank discussions about resources.
Let them Know their Options
By showing a student that has an addiction their options, a teacher can help guide them to treatment. It is always better for the student to recognize the need for treatment. Knowing what types of treatment is out there is also extremely beneficial. By taking the mystery away from substance abuse treatment, it might make a student more likely to be confident in their choice to seek it out.
Tell them Where to Find Treatment
One of the best ways that teachers can help students who abuse substances is to tell them where to find help when they need it. For more information about the agencies and treatment centers available call us at 1-800-895-1695.