Gavin Foundation, UMass team with city on anti-drug, alcohol effort

The Boston Public Schools will partner with the Gavin Foundation and UMass Boston to run a new school-based drug prevention program that will be piloted at Dorchester’s own McCormack Middle School.
The program— Too Good for Drugs— takes aim at alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drug use and will focus on seventh graders.

“This program’s aim is to address prevention of drug and alcohol use through our schools,” said Mayor Walsh. “The curriculum will include good decision-making, resisting peer pressure, and cultivating healthy communication and relationships with others. It emphasizes the pertinent information Boston youth will need to understand the negative consequences of alcohol and drug use.”

The curriculum is based upon 10 one-hour sessions with professionals who have been trained by the Mendez Foundation. The curriculum consists of 14 core lessons and an additional 12 lessons that can be infused into other subject areas (such as English, Science, and Social Studies). Students engage in role-play and cooperative learning activities and are encouraged to apply the skills to different contexts.

“Sadly, now more than ever school-based drug-prevention programs are a necessity,” said UMass Boston Chancellor Keith Motley. “Statistics show that 9 out of 10 people with addiction started using substances before they turned 18. We hope that by focusing on adolescents before they are exposed to drugs and alcohol, we can diminish the risk of addiction, and increase the likelihood of success in school and in college.”

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