School Resource Quick Guide
[Click here to download the School Resource Quick Guide flyer.]
Tips on How to Have Conversations About Drugs & Alcohol
- Have the conversation fairly, kindly and without shame or judgement. Focus less on lecturing and more on listening.
- Get curious about what is causing their behavior. Shift the focus from wanting to get your point across to I am here to seek and understand their thoughts, feelings, and struggles.
- Don’t take the adolescents’ behaviors personally.
- Let the consequences of use speak for themselves without adding your two cents about their bad decisions or how they are hurting themselves.
- Take a teach approach and let them know this is hard but we will figure this out together.
- Let them know recovery is possible and there is help.
- Reach out to our office for help connecting the adolescent and their family to treatment and support services.
- Signs & Symptoms
It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of alcohol and other drug use or misuse. These can be behavioral signs (like mood changes, changes in relationships, truancy) or physical indicators (like sudden or dramatic weight loss or gain, unusually tired).
- Narcan Nasal Spray (Naloxone)
Narcan Nasal Spray is the first FDA-approved nasal form of naloxone for the emergency treatment of a known or suspected opioid overdose. Free Narcan can be obtained through Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc.
- Student Assistance Program (SAP)
School SAP Liaisons assist in providing support and identifying issues with alcohol, other drugs and mental health issues, which can be a challenge to a student's success. SAP's primary goal is to support students in achieving and staying in school.
- Act 53
Do you know an adolescent struggling with substance use? If so, Act 53 is a legal process that can mandate drug and alcohol treatment.
- Mobile Engagement Service (MES)
Mobile Engagement Service (MES) are intervention services that connect with individuals to break down barriers and provide support while getting into treatment. MES takes an individual approach in working with persons and families who face multiple challenges in supporting their recovery, guiding them in finding the recovery path to meet their needs.
- Up & Away Campaign
By promoting messages of safe storage of medications, we can help reduce the number of accidental exposures, youth rates of prescription drug recreational use and overdose deaths in Bucks County. In addition, Safer Lock Boxes and Deterra bags are available to schools through Bucks County Drug & Alcohol Commission, Inc.
- Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS)
Since 1989, the Commonwealth has conducted a survey of school students in the 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th grades to learn about their behavior, attitudes and knowledge concerning alcohol, tobacco, other drugs and violence. PAYS is conducted every two years.
Important Programs & Initiatives to Support
- Student Athletes
Teachers, coaches, athletic trainers and other staff can play a vital role in helping to keep student athletes safe and on a path to making good decisions – which includes refraining from using substances. BCDAC, Inc.'s new campaign, Bucks County's Game Plan for Student Athlete Success, focuses on providing messaging about how to recognize the early warning signs of a potential problem with substances, how to keep your homes safe when it comes to storing medications and more!
Developing good communication skills helps to catch problems early, support positive behavior and stay aware of what is happening. Remember to talk often, use clear communication, set limits and provide safe boundaries!
- Social Hosting Laws
In Pennsylvania, it’s against the law to provide alcohol to anyone under 21. It’s important to remember that no amount of alcohol, no matter the setting, is safe for a minor. And as a teacher, you have more influence than you think. Research shows that the earlier a child begins to drink, the greater the likelihood that they will develop an alcohol dependency later in life. Other risk factors to consider including ease of access and availability and perception of harm can impact a young person’s decision to try alcohol. The longer you can delay the onset of first use can help decrease the risk of a substance use disorder.
- Safe Medication Storage & Disposal
The Bucks County Medication Take Back Program is designed to help reduce prescription drug abuse and protect the environment by providing safe disposal of potentially dangerous controlled substances from household medicine cabinets. In addition to two semi-annual take back days, there are 44 permanent medication collection boxes and 5 permanent sharps collection boxes around Bucks County.
Teachers play a big role in preventing youth substance use. Learn about your role and get additional information by visiting these useful websites: