Using tragedy as a teachable moment…

As is usually the case in August, students come in wanting to discuss things they saw on the news over the summer. Unfortunately this year, one of those major events would have been the tragic overdose of Glee star Cory Monteith.

While not all students are fans of the show, it certainly has a huge viewership of teens and tweens, and most of them have read about the tragedy online or heard about it from friends. This opens up a host of questions about heroin and drug addiction in general.

Students have a difficult time understanding how someone so “clean-cut” could have fallen victim to a drug usually associated with the stereotypical view of a junkie.

This news clip might clear up a few questions they have, and can hopefully get the discussion going as to some of the reasons people fall prey to addiction.

For those of us at international schools with differing drug issues, regulations, and mandatory drug testing, heroin might not be an immediate risk… but that doesn’t mean we should bury our heads in the sand.

This statement from founder Steve Pasierb might also be good to share…

In interviews, Cory spoke bravely and honestly about his substance use and attempts to change his life course through treatment, hoping that his experience could be an example for other young people

It’s heartbreaking that his experience had to end this way, but it can still be used as an example… helping the kids understand the insidious nature of drug addiction and the importance of making the right decisions.

For more information on heroin and opiates from the National Institute on Drug Abuse click here.


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