Unfortunately, some kids in America are showing up to school tired and stressed. Many of these kids’ lives have been touched by opioid abuse. Some are living in cars and taking care of themselves and maybe other siblings. They’re playing the role of the parent and trying to play the part of the student too. Some students only eat when they are at school, another result of opioid abuse.
This isn’t the end of bad news for those affected by opioid abuse. Studies suggest that students who are affected by opioid abuse can have an increased risk for poor nutrition, domestic violence, homelessness, low educational achievement, poor parenting skills, and a lack of a healthy support system, among other things. The true effect of childhood trauma.
The symptoms will vary greatly from student to student. They depend on a variety of factors, including if the student is abusing the opioids or if they live in a house where opioids are abused.
Partnerships are helpful for schools because they provide more resources to help tackle the opioid epidemic. These partnerships help schools teach students about the dangers of opioids and provide students with resources that can help them make the right choices. One of the best resources is a free youtube film, “Chasing Dragons”. Watching it together with your own child shows the family consequences of opioid abuse.
Partnerships with local colleges and universities are helpful because colleges and universities often have requirements for pharmacy or medical students to address public health. These students can provide presentations to share with high school students to help educate them on the dangers of opioids. Students as young as those in elementary school can learn through sensory activities.
Partnerships with community agencies may come in the form of mental health providers or health departments that can provide students with access to resources. These individuals can also help remove the stigma regarding asking for help with mental health issues. These professionals can also work with teachers to provide a safe space for students that is conducive to learning.
Everyone working with students must be informed of the impact that trauma can have on these students. A trauma-focused approach helps gain trust and build relationships when they are needed the most. These partnerships bring together experts in the field and can have a lasting impact on a child’s life. Education is the first step to annihilate the opioid epidemic.