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Signs of Substance Abuse Drug Policy and Procedures. What you NEED to know & What you MUST do Aimee Doyle Student Assistance Counselor. Why does this policy exist?.

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signs of substance abuse drug policy and procedures

Signs of Substance AbuseDrug Policy and Procedures

What you NEED to know & What you MUST do

Aimee Doyle

Student Assistance Counselor

why does this policy exist
Why does this policy exist?

Substance abuse starts as early as elementary school and negatively impacts brain developmentas well as the development of healthy coping skills.

Substance abuse is a MEDICAL problem and must be treated as such by schools.

Regardless of your own historywith substance abuse, you as a staff member are required by school code to follow the district procedures.

students that appear to be currently under the influence
Students that appear to be CURRENTLY Under the Influence
  • This is a MEDICAL issue - You must respond to prevent a medical emergency, not to catch a student on drugs.
  • You will be held safe harmless from any legal consequences for acting in good faith and general concern for a student.
  • If you do not respond you are liable to legal and professional consequences.
  • School code REQUIRES the following response:
    • Notify and administrator who will escort the student to the nurse and contact the parent to take them to the doctor.
    • Be able to articulate the physical or behavioral symptoms
physical signs and symptoms
Physical Signs and Symptoms
  • Smells: Alcohol, Marijuana, or other chemicals
  • Eyes: glassy, bloodshot, dilated or constricted pupils
  • Nose: Runny, Bleeding
  • Blank or Dreamy Facial Expressions
  • Flushed Face
  • Mobility Problems
  • Slurred Speech
  • Trembling
  • Grayish Skin Color
behavioral signs and symptoms
Behavioral Signs and Symptoms
  • Observed Behavior
    • Incoherent – call the nurse, prevent falling to floor
    • Talkative – unusually fast paced or verbally aggressive
    • Unable to Respond/Delayed Response
    • Impaired Memory
    • Inability to Concentrate
    • Depressed Mood
    • Sudden Outbursts
    • Mood Swings
    • Sleeping in Class
sleeping in class
Sleeping in Class
  • Students should not be sleeping on the job! This might be an indication of a serious problem.
  • Send the student to the nurse with a note or email (JanneDeMarco and Judy Skibitski)
  • 1st time – call the parent to alert them
  • 2nd time – the nurse calls to rule out health problems
  • 3rd time- an administrator calls to rule out other problems.
informing an administrator
Informing an Administrator
  • Email all 4 administrators immediately. If you do not hear back in 5 minutes then:
    • Ask someone on hall duty to watch your class while you go to the office.
    • Or buzz the office for coverage
  • Students don’t need to know why you are leaving class.
  • Do NOT wait!
  • Explain your reasons for concern. Perhaps other information you know about the student paired with signs and symptoms you see today. Your gut is usually right!
the big picture
The Big Picture

A staff member suspects a student is under the influence because of physical or behavioral signs. This student may be medically compromised!

****The train leaves the station****

It does not stop or stall.

Staff articulates their concerns directly to an administrator

****Staff member gets off the train ****

Medical Confidentiality begins for the student

Student is escorted to the Nurse for emergency medical evaluation, NOT to determine drug use

Administrator calls the parent to take the student to Concentra or the ER for a medical evaluation including drug screens.

the big picture continued
The Big Picture (continued)

5. The student can return to school with a note from a doctor stating “this student is physically fit to participate in school”. (Form1)

  • Drug screen results arrive – reports go to SAC

Negative = no discipline + follow up with SAC

Positive = 4 days OSS + Evaluation by a drug treatment center to determine the student’s attitudes/involvement with drugs and level of treatment needed.

After the OSS, the student returns to school with parent to meet with administrator and SAC to set up in-school support.

not currently under the influence
NOTCurrently Under the Influence
  • If you obtain information that a student may be involved in using substances but is not currently under the influence, please refer them to the Student Assistance Counselor, Aimee Doyle.
  • Confidentiality begins for the student (42CFR).
  • Please let me know if the student is aware you recommended that they see me.
  • “Tattling” is ok! Administrators can tell parents rumors and refer them to me.
suspicion of drug dealing
Suspicion of Drug Dealing
  • Report your observations to administration immediately if you witness a suspicious act.
    • If possible, have a colleague keep an eye on the students or note where they go.
    • Money does not need to exchange hands.
    • You could save a life! – Students may get something different than they expect and could have a dangerous reaction.
    • DO NOT TOUCH any substances! The administrator will remove it.
when chaperoning an event
When Chaperoning an Event
  • Report your concerns to an administrator IMMEDIATELY!
  • Also report rumors from students.
  • If you are running an even off school grounds:
    • Take Drug Testing Forms with you
    • Take an administrators phone # with you
    • You may have to ride in an ambulance with the student to the nearest ER. DO NOT DRIVE them!
    • If you gain possession of drugs, turn them over to the local police.
    • Custody of a student can be turned over to the police after contacting an administrator.
what are they using
What ARE they using?
  • Alcohol – still the #1 abused substance by teens
  • Marijuana – more commonly used than tobacco
    • Synthetics – Spice, K2, K3, G6…
  • Pills – “Bumping” = crushing and snorting them
    • Oxycodone – can lead to Heroin
    • Adderal – can lead to Cocaine
    • The higher price of pills lead users to street drugs that cost less.

The teenage brain is fearless for a reason, so they will grow up, which is a blessing…yet a curse allowing experimenting with drugs.

students do get help
Students DO get help
  • This policy exists to save students, not to catch them making bad choices. We want to bridge them to help.
  • Manystudents have resolved underlying issues and stopped using alcohol or other drugs.
  • Your eyes and ears may help save a student!

Thank you for your time and help.

Aimee Doyle