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- Shifts in Mood and Personality: sullen, withdrawn, less motivated, less cooperative, possibly hyperactive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