By Vera Jagieski
In April ASW had a visitor from the non-profit substance abuse prevention organization Freedom Chemical Dependency.
FCD is a non-profit substance abuse prevention organization, where all of the individuals are recovering addicts. The organization travels to schools to try and give the facts of what substance abuse truly is. With the individuals being former substance abusers themselves, it adds a more personal experience with the students.
According to Ms. Berntson, a visit from FCD has been in the works for the past year. The school wanted to have someone come and talk about a major health subject, she said, as the current health programme of the school is being reconstructed.
John Tummon, was the FCD representative who came to visit ASW and talk about substance abuse with students starting from 6th grade all throughout the high school. There was both a middle school and high school assembly, during which Mr. Tummon told us about himself and answered some questions from the students. Following these assemblies, each grade had separate seminars with Mr. Tummon.
There was not a specific plan with what each seminar would about rather “it kind of gets tailored to whatever the audience asks questions about” said Ms. Bernston. However, there was an underlying theme in the sessions, with substances such as alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana most commonly discussed.
Mr. Tummon is a recovering alcoholic and tobacco addict. His talks with students were based very heavily on how to make good decisions with substances. What made FCD different from other substance talks was that the students got to talk with someone who has gone through the struggle of addiction and is recovering from it, and this added more personality to the sessions.
The school is hoping to see another consultant from FCD come to the school in the future, and to make the FCD visits a regular part of the school.