"Approximately 40% of individuals who drink before age 15 report having symptoms at some point in their lives that fit a diagnosis of alcohol dependence. This is four times as many as among those who do not drink before age 21." – FCD Prevention Works website.
This past week, SCS welcomed Eduardo Torres, a representative from the global non-profit substance abuse prevention organization FCD Prevention Works. During his time here, Eduardo shared about his own life experiences at our MS and HS chapels including how he has overcome addiction that began when he was a teenager. He spoke in several classes over the course of three days and opened students' eyes to the science behind addiction, including how different parts of the brain function in response to mood-altering substances such as alcohol and drugs.
Through a non-confrontational interactional style, he answered questions and shared alarming facts about what research shows to be true of adolescent exposure to alcohol. He emphasized how media and culture often portray alcohol in a glamorous way to youth, while the harsh truth behind what they may experience is often revealed only after it is too late. Key to FCD's approach is a focus on preventing students from taking the first drink, an approach which research has shown to be the most effective route in fighting alcohol addiction.
The Parents' Association partnered with SCS for the second year this year to fund FCD's program at SCS, indicating a clear interest on behalf of many SCS parents to change a youth culture that is often marked by the impact of alcohol. A group of SCS students will be attending an FCD summit in the United States this spring to learn about how student leaders can raise awareness of the dangers of chemical addictions. The FCD program complements the school's new Middle School health curriculum which contains units on substance abuse and a focus on the dangers of alcohol.