DART Program (Drug Alcohol Resistance Training)
Did you Know?
Alcohol is the main drug of choice among young people. Most teens who use illegal drugs begin with alcohol, in the sequence of beer or wine, followed by cigarettes or hard liquor, then marihuana and other drugs.
- Approximately 1/3 of all children have tried cigarettes by age 12 or 13.
- Almost 1/4 of high school students reported using marihuana.
- At least 3/4 of graduating students have used alcohol.
What does Alcohol do to your body?
Alcohol is a Central Nervous System depressant that relaxes the inhibiting controlling mechanisms of the brain. It affects speech, vision and coordination.
Prolonged drinking can lead to physical dependence on alcohol. Young people run a high risk of dependence due to processes of puberty change, neurological immaturity, and incomplete muscle and body mass development.
Liver disease from alcohol usually occurs in three stages; fatty liver, which is usually reversible when drinking is stopped; hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, which may persist after drinking stops and may be fatal in some cases; and cirrhosis, which also can be fatal.
Chronic drinking can damage the lining of the small intestine so food is not well absorbed. It can also cause bleeding and ulcers. Congestive heart failure, hypertension and stroke are associated with heavy, chronic use of alcohol.
Alcohol consumption has been linked to numerous forms of Cancer, including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, pancreas, liver, colon and rectum.
Drinking by a pregnant woman is associated with increased risks of spontaneous abortion and lower birth weight. It also has been associated with a series of birth defects called Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and Fetal Alcohol Effect.
What does Marihuana do to your body?
All forms of marihuana have negative physical and mental effects.
There are 421 chemicals in an unlit joint, and 2,000 compounds when burned.
The Brain is the target organ; marihuana disrupts short-term memory, damages brain tissues and has been linked to schizophrenia.
Marihuana increases the heart rate and decreases blood supply. It impairs development, fertility and is damaging to offspring. Marihuana contains more tar, carbon monoxide and cancer causing agents than tobacco.
Problems of Kids and Drugs
If a young person uses drugs when their basic skills are being developed, they are unable to develop normal relationships, cope with problems, or deal with peer pressure.
Drug use lowers inhibitions in young people who already have low impulse control, are emotionally volatile, are natural risk-takers, lack a sense of limits and have little future orientation.
Accidents involving drinking and drugs are the major cause of death among teenagers.
Drug use among kids may cause negative personality and behavioral changes such as; depression, aggression and apathy.
Young drug users are often polydrug users. That means they rarely use just one drug in isolation, but a combination of drugs.
Signs of Drug use
- Change in sleep patterns
- Bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils
- Frequent illness
- Runny nose, hacking cough
- Sudden appetite
- Unexplained weight loss or weight gain
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Poor physical coordination, slurred or incoherent speech
- Short term memory loss
Behavioral and Personality Changes
- Increase in inappropriate anger, hostility, irritability and secretiveness
- Preoccupied with "self"
- Secretiveness and withdrawal from family
- Lack of motivation and energy
- Change in values, ideals, beliefs and friends
- Diminished interest in extracurricular activities and hobbies
- Possession of large amounts of money
- Unexplained absence from home
- Frequenting "new hang outs"
- Wearing sunglasses at inappropriate times
- Chronic dishonesty -lying, stealing, cheating
Observed School Changes
- Reduced short term memory and concentration
- Loss of participation in school
- Frequent tardiness and absenteeism
- Incomplete assignments
- Sleeping in class
- Increased discipline problems
- Change in peer group
- Tin foil packages
- Eye drops, mouth wash
- Pipes, screens, roach clips
- Small spoons, straw, razor blades, mirrors
- Stash cans
- Plastic baggies
- Drug-related magazines, slogans or clothing
- Disappearance of knives or knives with burned ends
- Disappearance of shells of ballpoint pens
- Peculiar plants or seeds
- Butts, marihuana cigarettes
- Capsules or tablets
- Odor of Drugs
- Smell of incense or "cover-up" scents
How to stay Drug-Free!
When asked to do drugs or consume alcohol, change the subject and suggest doing other things like sports or games.
Just say NO!
Use any excuse you can think of -"My parents would freak on me", "I'm allergic to that stuff". Think of other creative ways!
Practice peer pressure refusal techniques. Rehearse what you will say and stick to it!
Talk to your parents or someone you trust! Remember you are not alone!
If your friends push drugs on you...they are not your friends!
Get involved in Drug Prevention programs in your community, like "Just Say No!"