Drug Prevention and Intervention

The Worcester Public Schools is committed to providing to students the social and emotional tools to live drug-free.  We are here to support students and families in drug prevention and intervention.

For more information about the WPS Drug Policy, please see Rule 8 of the Student Handbook - Policy on Possession or Use of Drugs or Alcohol.

Resources at Worcester Public Schools:

  • Talk with your student’s School Adjustment Counselor, Health teacher, or another staff member.
  • Worcester Public Schools Drug Education Information Line: (508)889-7436. We can help you with general support and referrals.
  • Recovery High School located at 121 Higgins Street.
  • Turn It Around Drug Education Program: Five-day educational program offered to students who have been identified as being under the influence of and/or in possession of a controlled substance while on school property, or otherwise in need of support around substance use.

Myths vs. Facts of Teen Drug Use and Prevention

Myth:Kids all experiment at some point! It’s just a part of being a teen. There’s no way to stop it.”

Fact: Research shows that 30% of 18 year olds have NOT experimented with drugs/alcohol. It is not helpful to normalize the use of drugs and alcohol.

Myth: “Marijuana and the occasional alcoholic drink are pretty harmless.”

Fact: Drugs/Alcohol can have serious effects on the adolescent brain and can "prime" them for addiction. A major risk factor for addiction in later life is use as a teen.

Myth: “My child is not even in middle school yet. We can talk about this stuff later.”

Fact: It's best to be proactive! NOT talking about drugs ALSO sends a message. Be clear about your expectations around drugs/alcohol.

Tips for talking to your student about drugs

(information from samhsa.gov)

  • Send a clear message that you disapprove of the use of drugs and alcohol
  • Show you care about your child’s health and wellness- you want your child to be safe and healthy.
  • Show you’re a reliable source of information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol
  • Show that you’re paying attention-- adolescents are more likely to try drugs and alcohol if they think no one is watching
  • Build your child’s skills and strategies to say no- talk about peer pressure; do a role play; have a code word to text if they are in a vulnerable situation

Keep it low-key, and keep it short. Make it an ongoing discussion.

Spotting the Signs of Drug / Alcohol Use

(information from drugfree.org)

  • Shifts in Mood and Personality: sullen, withdrawn, less motivated, less cooperative, possibly hyperactive
  • Shifts in Behavior: Loss of interest in school, goes out with friends more often, breaks curfew, uses gum/mints more, sleeplessness and then periods of more sleep
  • Hygiene: Smelling of smoke or other unusual smells, messier, poor cleaning
  • Physical Health: Frequently sick, vomiting, sores on the mouth, skin picking, weight loss or gain, frequent perspiration
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