Project DrugSmart is a comprehensive campaign designed to address drug education and awareness, prevention, and strategies and deterrents for maintaining a safe and drug-free environment in our schools. None of us can afford to ignore the easy availability of illicit drugs and alcohol in our communities.
District 7 and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) coalition are collaborating on an initiative aimed at educating the community regarding the dangers of prescription drugs and underage drinking. At the core of the initiative are a series of short videos featuring individuals discussing aspects of both topics.
The first set of videos to be released center around the issue of prescription drug abuse. This project is intended to provide perspective on the growing concern regarding prescription drugs. We want our students and parents to know that it is important not to be complacent about prescription drug addiction…thinking that it cannot happen in their family.
April is Alcohol Awareness Month. Project DrugSMART, in cooperation with the EHS EPIC group and the Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) coalition, will share information throughout the month regarding the issues surrounding underage drinking.
Videos related to Prescription Drugs will be released throughout the month of March. The videos regarding Underage Drinking will be released during Alcohol Awareness Month in April.
The administration and faculty representatives continue to meet with local law enforcement officials and members of the health community to discuss current trends in teenage drug use, their impact on the middle schools and high school, and potential solutions.
Most of our educational activities will revolve around high school and middle school students who may find themselves in a compromising position that may lead to experimenting with or using marijuana and/or heroin, alcohol, and misusing prescription drugs. We will continue to reinforce the message through the following:
The District, in cooperation with the Edwardsville Police Department, will conduct canine searches of our Edwardsville High School and Lincoln and Liberty Middle Schools to help ensure student safety. Parents and students need to be aware that lockers, book bags, and cars will be checked. The use of canine searches is designed to convey to students that we will not tolerate illicit drugs or other dangerous substances or devices on school property.
Students should beware of sharing lockers, cars, and book bags with friends or acquaintances, and by all means, they should be aware of the contents of their lockers, cars, and book bags.
The District has long-standing partnerships with all area law enforcement agencies, including the Edwardsville Police Department, the Madison County Sheriff’s Department, and the Glen Carbon Police Department. Representatives from each agency meet regularly to assess the District’s operation, including emergency plans, security vulnerabilities, and evacuation plans. This partnership, combined with a collaborative effort among students, parents, faculty and administration, will help to continue keeping the school environment safe.
The Board of Education and administration want to recognize the individuals who have volunteered many hours in developing the Project DrugSmart campaign. This project would not have been possible without the contributions of Steve Wigginton, US Attorney; Steve Nonn, Madison County Coroner; Tom Gibbons, Madison County State’s Attorney; Chief Jay Keeven, Edwardsville Police Department; Chief Todd Link, Glen Carbon Police Department; Sheriff John Lakin, Madison County Sheriff’s Department; Sgt. Charlie Kohlberg, Edwardsville Police Department;; Steve Jankowski, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; and Donna Nahlik, Chestnut Health Systems, and Melanie Nagel, ASAP Project Coordinator.
The Board of Education and administration want to pay special recognition to Donna Nahlik, prevention specialist from Chestnut Health Systems, and Melissa Sanders, EHS health education teacher, who serve as sponsors for the Edwardsville High School’s EPIC organization. The EPIC organization, which is comprised of approximately 150 EHS students, promotes a drug and alcohol-free lifestyle for teens. Members have designed their club’s own campaign, known as Tiger Truths, that is designed to prevent drug and alcohol use among their peers.
It is our hope that you will lend your support to these efforts. If we all work together – students, parents, staff, and community members – we can make a difference in reducing drug and alcohol abuse among teens.
DrugSmart Video for Students (2011)