Period One today the Y10s were given another Attitude presentation. Last year as Y9s the students were given a similar presentation on the online world and being connected. Today’s presentation was around the topic of making bad choices with drugs and alcohol. Here’s a quick summary of what was covered.
The presentation started by asking: Why do we do things that we know are bad for us? The answer that was explored was that we are all trying to meet our needs: the need to feel significant, feel better, feel connected and feel appreciated. This leads us to make decisions, and sometimes they aren’t good ones. Being a teenager is a difficult time because you are transitioning between being a child and an adult, so navigating these needs can be challenging. Some reasons why people make bad decisions are:
- Friends – making friends is pretty tough, and you care about them, so when they make bad decisions it is hard not to do the same because we don’t want to lose our friends. Sometimes the best thing that we can do for our friends is speak up when you think they are making bad decisions. Taking a risk and speaking up first can be hard, but sometimes it is exactly what your friends need.
- Self-esteem – sometimes we make bad decisions to lift our self-esteem. Setting positive goals and experiencing success by meeting them is in fact the best way feel better about yourself.
- Boredom – we do silly things when we get bored. Getting drunk and getting high might kill boredom but it wears off and it simply creates more boredom. It’s not an exciting lifestyle; it’s a boring lifestyle.
- Wanting to feel better – just like boredom drugs and alcohol might be a short term solution, but it makes the situation worse. Drugs and alcohol will magnify the issues you are trying to feel better about as well as bring on negative health effects that will not help.
There are people that can help you get through these feelings. At school you can talk to the Guidance Counsellor, to your Dean, Form Teacher or another teacher that you trust. There are also outside agencies that can help and assist like youthline. We all have reasons to make bad decisions, but drugs and alcohol are not a solution.