Be Aware Tennessee Drug Prevention

Board of Commissioners, Board of Education, Education, Featured, News

Blount County, TN – The Blount County Education Committee held a meeting on August 30th, 2022, referring to a curriculum framework called Be Aware Tennessee Drug Prevention. The new school year will be implementing these Drug Prevention Programs.

Drug Prevention in the Past

To begin, many regions throughout the state have experienced increases in substance abuse. According to statistics, DARE programs did not do as well as education committees hoped.

In the last two years, drugs have been normalized in the school systems. The exposure of drugs are more accessible now because of the internet. Our residents are looking for more ways to keep families aware of the risk factors. Through prevention programs Blount County moves towards a more community focused ban on gatewaying drugs in the education systems.

Earlier, The Tennessee Together bill was passed in 2018. This helped with the opioid epidemic. This bill has been followed by a meeting every 2 years to go over drug surveys in Tennessee from schools, opinions from officers, and Blount County’s awareness for impacted families.

Drug Survey in TN (2020):

Be Aware Drug Program

Moreover educators, city council members, and drug awareness activists talk about socially influenced programs to help implement a long-term plan for upcoming drug prevention today.

Starting off, election of chairperson was Dodd Crowe from Blount County. Election of vicechair was Fred Goins from Blount County.

Committee members Vandy Kemp and Amanda Ingle-Slinsky draft a program about drug prevention. The purpose of this draft is to create more academic focus and resolutions.

Vandy Kemp said, “Programs that had good everlasting effects have 3 characteristics in common. They are research based, they go over risk factors in a more extensive way that targets individuals who are socially isolated, and they boost training with scenarios that children may run into outside of school grounds.”

Shortly after, Amanda Ingle-Slinsky starts her approach with Be Aware. This program tackles child exploitation through social media. It also pushes to reduce access to drugs.

Melissa Crabtree (Teacher from Carpenter Schools) said,” The newer curriculums are more drug focused and will be well received.”

Teachers of social health will welcome a stand in guidance counselor while they go over health wellness and substance abuse risk factors.

Through said program, social health will be prioritized by creating a safe space for children to talk about their encounters with unsafe elements outside of school as well.

Tennessee’s Implications

Following that, Commissioner Mike Akard said,” Everyone in the community needs to come together for this. That includes our guidance counselors, officers, and parents.”

The program’s funding at a previous middle school was 12,000 and the target audience for this drug prevention program are 6th graders right now.

Beyond that, Be Aware Tennessee Drug Prevention will continue to expand to grades under and above 6th grade.

There is also plans to educate parents about drug awareness through open houses and parent nights in Blount County.

In summary, Tennessee is working around the clock to keep families updated and safe!


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