Social-Emotional Learning is Vital for All Students to Prevent Addiction

Many people see addiction, either to drugs or alcohol, as something that only happens to the “troubled” students. However, the statistics speak otherwise.

E-cigarette users in middle schools and high schools increased from 1.5 million between 2017 and 2018. Over 20 million Americans over the age of 12 are addicted to drugs or alcohol. Over 90 percent of that 20 million began drinking, smoking, or using drugs before they turned 18.

But why?

Most addictions can be traced back to peer pressure, stress, and depression. For instance, Vaping is considered ‘cool’ by teenagers, who get addicted to smoking early on and later find it hard to quit. It can also be attributed to the easy availability of various substances. Juul, a type of e-cigarette comes in discreet forms that are hardly recognizable. So, students can easily indulge in juuling whenever they want.

Banning these substances may not be the best idea. It is important to communicate with the students in a manner they understand. Social-emotional learning, therefore, becomes an important lesson to focus on with middle schoolers. This is the age where they’re most likely to try alcohol or drugs for the first time. Delaying this and showing them that there are healthier ways to deal with their anger or depression can prevent them from gaining addictions later on in life.

SEL Adventures is an SEL platform that allows students to learn the various aspects of social-emotional learning. It’s presented to the classroom as a whole to ensure that every student benefits from the material being presented. More so, the material is presented in a variety of ways so that students don’t feel as though they’re being lectured.

Through the use of fantasy characters and fun curriculums, students learn how to make more positive decisions, form healthier relationships, and develop empathy for one another. As a result, they’re less likely to be peer pressured into trying drugs or turn to alcohol as a way to deal with their problems.

Particularly when you look at how the statistics show that Americans often begin making decisions that lead to addictions starting at 12 or over, it’s clear that social-emotional learning has to be introduced in middle school. SEL Adventures offers versatile lesson plans that allow schools to incorporate the lessons as needed. They can be adapted to fit the existing curriculum. Further, the online platform makes it possible to introduce the material without developing new lesson plans. It’s all created already, which makes it possible for the teachers to follow along.

Students need some kind of support to learn about addiction prevention methods. Simply telling kids “don’t do drugs” isn’t going to cut it. They need to learn about healthy ways to deal with stress. They need to know how to establish healthy relationships.

Addiction statistics aren’t improving. One hundred people die from drug overdoses every day, which is a rate that has tripled in the past two decades. With social-emotional learning, such as what SEL Adventures offers, it’s possible to start decreasing those rates once and for all.

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