Become a
Community Cares Champion!

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What is the
Community Cares Challenge?

The Community Cares Challenge provides you the opportunity to become a Community Cares Champion!

Champions will complete three guided modules to learn more about preventing substance misuse. Each module takes you through facts, videos, links, and graphics to help you understand what substance misuse means to you and how you can prevent it.

Community Cares Champions are informed, empowered, and dedicated to making their neighborhoods better by reducing risks of substance misuse in themselves and others. Complete all three modules and quizzes to earn your Community Cares Champion certificate. Certificates may be printed with your name and include valuable coupons for White County vendors.

But the biggest reward of all is knowing that you are a knowledgeable champion fighting substance use disorder in your community!

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Safe EscapeClose this Module

How do we know whether there is a problem in our school?

It’s impossible to know for certain which students
are struggling with substance use, but statistically
there are students in your school misusing substances.

Click through to see some statistics
from DrugAbuse.gov:

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35% of 12th graders
smoked marijuana in the past year.

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15% of 8th graders
have used illicit drugs in the past year.

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40% of 10th graders
have used alcohol in the past year.

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24% of 8th graders
have vaped in the past year.

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The best way to
respond to substance
misuse in school is to
address individuals
who may need
your help.

Click the infographic after
reading for more information.

Back to the Game!

- GIGAN-TRON -

Back to the Game

There are many risk factors that make a student more likely to have
substance use disorder, as well as protective factors like feeling
connected and having an important adult in their lives. Genetics plays
a role, but it is only one factor in a complex system that leads to
substance use disorder.

Watch this video for
info on dependency factors:

- GIGAN-TRON -

Back to the Game

Studies found that people with a mental disorder, such as anxiety,
depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), may use
drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication. However, although
some drugs may temporarily help with some symptoms of mental
disorders, they may make the symptoms worse over time.
Additionally, brain changes in people with mental disorders may
enhance the rewarding effects of substances, making it more
likely they will continue to use the substance.

Source: www.nimh.nih.gov

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Know the difference between students who are under the
influence and students who are experiencing withdrawal (which
can be a medical emergency). Students who are experiencing
substance use disorder may seem “normal” while under the
influence, but become agitated, angry, jittery,
or ill as the substances leave their systems.
You may notice these symptoms right before
lunch or at the end of the day.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Back to the Game!

Consider the entire family, especially if the children attend different
schools. Piecing together the big picture of siblings, each with minor
academic struggles or absenteeism, could lead to a deeper
understanding of the living
conditions in the home
and allow for a more
timely intervention
when necessary.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Back to the Game!

Quiz!

- GIGAN-TRON -

Back to the Game

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A key component of recovery is resilience. All children (and adults)
should practice resilience as part of their wellness strategy.

This video is heartwarming,
inspiring, and stunningly
simple-yet effective.

Return to Classroom ↷

The DSM-5 lists substance use disorder
as a mental disorder, which creates
legal protections for people
experiencing SUD.

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

You don’t have to start from scratch.

There are plentiful
resources available
to enable your inclusion
of people in
recovery in all aspects
of school life.

Read one example at
teens.drugabuse.gov

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Addressing people in recovery means
being trauma-informed. Many students
experiencing substance misuse have
also experienced other trauma, and
their substance use begins another
trauma cycle. Addressing recovery is
the next step toward trauma-informed
initiatives that focus on social/
emotional health and wellness.

A good resource is available at:
www.nea.org

Quiz Today!

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What can we do to
prevent substance
misuse in our school?

Foster resiliency, wellness,
and mindfulness through
trauma-informed communities
within schools.

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Directly address substance misuse.
Students see it in the media and
need real information from trusted
adults. Be the trusted adults. Learn
about ways to incorporate
educational pieces, including ready-
made lesson plans, here:
teens.drugabuse.gov/teachers

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Consider a staffing or self-led
professional development around
Operation Prevention, an entire
series about bringing substance
misuse prevention into classroom
communities.

Source:
www.operationprevention.com/about

Eliminate stigma in your own speech,
modeling person-centered language
for your staff and students. Include
substance-use-related terms in your
anti-bullying policies and practices.

Return to Office ↷

Practice harm reduction.
A person who dies of overdose can
never enter recovery. Keep naloxone
in the nurse’s office to reverse the
effects of opioids. When a student
needs treatment, the trusted adult
should keep working with them
until a “warm handoff” can be made
to another appropriate professional.

Return to Office ↷

Quiz

Return to Office

A key component of recovery is resilience. All children (and adults)
should practice resilience as part of their wellness strategy.

This video is heartwarming,
inspiring, and stunningly
simple-yet effective.

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