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Alcohol Awareness Day

The Maine Department of Education held activities last week for December’s alcohol awareness day. The day (December 2nd) is part of a week-long campaign to help educate students and the larger community about issues related to alcohol abuse.

The program meets the requirements of Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, Sub-section 5, which directs: ”Alcohol Awareness Day, the first Monday in December, shall be observed by studying for at least 45 minutes, a constructive approach toward the use of alcohol and the problems and dangers of alcohol abuse upon the individual, the family and society. The commissioner shall prepare appropriate materials for this observance.”

Activities for the day can be customized by teachers with approval of their supervising authority and assistance if offered from the Office of Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHS). Many find that playing a DVD or video to their classes for the event, which meets the state requirement, is a convenient and informative approach. Materials geared towards students in an age-appropriate manner, are given free of charge to teachers and can be copied and distributed.

One of the videos, “If You Think Most Kids Drink, Think Again” is available as a download at the SAMHS site, along with a discussion guide. Parents are encouraged to review the materials as well and talk to their children about alcohol abuse.

In the broader picture, students are also taught about substance abuse generally, including topics on tobacco and other drugs. This instruction can be part of health education offered at the school. Maine has been proactive about teaching drug and alcohol awareness to our students and by making it a mandatory part of the curriculum, we assure that all students are exposed, at least once a year, to this important information. Please reinforce what your child has learned by asking them questions and showing an interest in the subject.


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