Sunday, October 14, 2007

Addiction Awareness

I had a phone call yesterday from someone wanting to know what my stance was on addiction counselling in schools. I told him I had met with someone last week at AA who was available to come into schools and do awareness and prevention programming, but that she received very few calls from schools. He suggested that it would be worthwhile to have an addictions counsellor in every high school.

I think he's right...or at least to have counsellors that are shared between schools. We aren't doing enough and most addicts say their addictions started when they were in junior or senior high school. Of course, there was a time when every school had a guidance counsellor on staff, but most of us have forgotten those days. When I went to school, we also had a school nurse and a room with a cot for students who felt ill. What's happened that we've grown so used to all these jobs being cut from schools? Why do we think that counselling kids is a frill? Surely prevention is far less costly than treatment ...or worse yet...ignoring the problem and letting it spiral into a myriad of other social problems. How much does it cost then?

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