The Woodland Park Municipal Alliance Against Alcoholism and Drug Abuse sponsored a six-part workshop called “We’re Not Buying It” for Memorial School sixth graders, given by the Center for Prevention, based in Newton.
The program aims to prevent or delay the onset of alcohol, marijuana, and drug use, and to prevent bullying. Participants learn how to deconstruct media messages that promote or glamorize substance use. With a better understanding of the marketing directed toward them, students are better able to resist messages and to make healthy decisions.
Sessions focused on “media is everywhere,” alcohol and marijuana use, prescription drugs, dealing with stress, staying safe on social media and bullying.
In a recent session, they worked with facilitator Ashley Caine about peer pressure and refusal skills. They did an exercise where each student would come up and be confronted with a potential situation. They then would say or do what they think they would if they were ever in that situation.
Ms. Caine told the students it is important at their age to have conversations with a trusted adult such as a parent or other family member. Should they ever be in a situation where they feel unsafe, they can utilize a signal that they can send which they can predetermine with that adult. For example, a text that says, “Mom, can you pick up peanut butter?” can be a trouble signal to them.