Seen on: The Post Star
Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020
Prevention Council begins teaching drug facts through escape room games
SOUTH GLENS FALLS — As tobacco roars back into the school population through vaping, The Prevention Council of Saratoga County is trying to get kids to listen to the truth.
One of the council’s latest methods is to run escape room events related to drug addiction.
Recently, a South Glens Falls high school health class played an escape room scenario called “Do It For Your Lungs.”
As the students solved clues, they learned about the dangers of vaping.
“But it’s fun,” said program coordinator Alexandra Barr. “The cash register has a lock. There’s a clue to figure out how to open the register. And inside is another clue. So you’re learning, but having fun.”
One of the main messages for vaping is that it’s still nicotine — which is highly addictive. It’s also bad for your lungs.
Through the Community Coalition for Family Wellness, the group is also trying to expand students’ view of drugs beyond the dichotomy of “drugs are bad” or “drugs are cool.”
That doesn’t leave students with anywhere to go if they become addicted and want to stop. It also doesn’t help students welcome a new peer who is in recovery.
“I think just having the mindset that addiction is a disease is helpful,” Barr said. “That there’s always help and resources.”
The group started its campaign by working to remove unused drugs from people’s homes — through drug give-back days and by distributing Deterra Drug Deactivation bags, which decompose drugs so they can be safely thrown away in the trash. In the last two years, more than 2,000 bags of drugs have been thrown out, and the drug giveback days removed 200 pounds of drugs from South Glens Falls households.
All that fit into The Prevention Council’s “Reduce the Meds, Reduce the Risk” strategy.
But the council wanted to add strategies for youths as well.
Community Coalition for Family Wellness representatives are going to a forum next week to help them add more ways to get youths on board with avoiding drug addiction. It’s the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s 30th annual National Leadership Forum.
“Hopefully, we’ll learn some specific strategies to get more people involved, particularly youth,” Barr said. “We really want to focus on youth.”