Substance abuse refers to the harmful use of psychoactive substances, including alcohol and other drugs such as nicotine etc. All types of drugs constitutes chemicals that can change the functioning of the body and mind. They can give you a pleasurable “high,” reduce stress levels, and help the individual avoid problems in life only for a temporary while.
Problems associated with consumption of substance by school children:
- Substance use contributes to poor academic performance.
- Substance-using students, compared with non-users, are at increased risk for academic failure, including dropout, especially when the use is frequent and heavy.
- Use of Cannabis negatively impacts academic outcomes; sometimes more than what alcohol does.
- Sometimes substance use precedes academic failure; sometimes early academic failure precedes use.
- Cessation of substance use following treatment is associated with improvement in academic performance. This suggests that doing something about substance use is an importune way to promote and improve academic success.
- There are short-and long-term effects of drug use on students’ ability to learn. Certainly, learning is compromised if students come to class under the influence.
- Motivation to study reduces and moving towards a decline slope increases as the use becomes more regular.
- Too often, students with alcohol or drug problems aren’t even making it to the classroom.
What parents need to know:
- Dropout is the extreme result of a complex and interacting set of risk factors.
- Parents need to know what they can do to prevent use in the first place, and intervene if their child has a drug or alcohol problem.
- Once use occurs, an entire constellation of change agents may be needed to solve the problem.
- Parents need to be clear that they do not approve of substance use.
- A recent research study showed that parents who communicated to their college-bound children the message of zero tolerance for substance use were less likely to have children with drinking problems in college than were parents who were more permissive.