What type of substance use education did you receive when you were younger?



Back to the old health class days! I personally feel lucky to have received a decent high school health education and still utilize what I was taught about the standard drink size!
Were you satisfied with your education on substances? Do you think it impacted the way you think about substances today?


No way! We were told to ‘say no’ and given zero education about what drugs are and how they are useful / harmful. I now believe that this is the best path for our society to move forward. To get really clear on the benefits and the downsides of drug use - by drug type! The more we know the more we can use safely - because a substance use disorder is actually defined by the harm caused by the substance! It doesn’t mean EVERY use is harmful. #rantover (thanks for the qn!)


I don’t remember having any education around substance abuse aside from “drugs are bad don’t use them.” I hope things have changed. At the same time I feel more attention needs to be given to mental and emotional health. Encouraging people of every age to talk about their feelings and things. that are bothering them and struggles they’re having. And bringing knowledge and light to the stigmas, stereotypes, and false mythologies surrounding mental health. I feel those things would have a snowball effect on reducing addiction(s).


@p_dewey many people have said that addiction is the result of feeling depressed, low mood, anxiety, and that the reason someone is using is not because they are addicted but because they are trying to cope with some underlying emotional or physical pain. Whether or not this is true, I definitely agree that encouraging people to be open about their feelings from early on can likely be a preventative measure.


Wow looking back on this makes me want to give a talk at my school! (And I may reach out to them now)

I only remember learning about substance use in health class senior year of high school. The specific story I remember is hearing about a man taking LSD and getting stuck in his trip forever. There was little to no information given on prescription drugs, or any breakdown of drug types. By this time in our lives most of my peers had already tried various substances and some may have been using substances in a dangerous way - too little too late.


Wow - great question @ashleykm3. I really only have two memories of substance education. The first in elementary school when D.A.R.E. was really in its peak, and the second in high school was essentially a scare assembly where they brought in a wrecked car to talk about drunk driving. Looking back and reflecting on this question actually makes me really sad (tearing up over here). These educations didn’t teach compassion, nor did they offer me tools to actually support a loved one who might be struggling. :worried:


Hahah Im wicked old… I was taught to say no, and that people who did drugs were bad dirty people… Who every would have thought that I would have two kids who suffer from SUD! I totally believe in education, and open talk about it, with my bottom three kids I put the fear of god into them … and they also saw the destruction it did.


I was a child of the 60’s. I don’t remember any formal program for avoiding substances. My parents told me not to, so pretty much i didn’t do anything, but occasionally smoke pot. I was afraid of drugs, so while others were tripping, I was laughing at how stupid they were acting or afraid for them.


No formal education about addiction; had life education about addiction.
Friends didn’t even believe me and my brother till we were long out of high school about my dad and grand mom having alcoholic addiction; friends would say - “aww, it can’t be that bad”. Mom found therapy and offered me counseling and some books. It wasn’t the best, yet we searched out information to help ourselves.

I was very honest and open with my son growing up about behaviors that are not kind or are ugly. Yet even seeing what happens, doesn’t protect you or others from having the same or similar addiction or behavior/“isms” like those who have an addiction.

I believe that is one of the greatest gifts I have learned and continue to increase in my life is compassion and respect in my words and thoughts. I am thankful to be aware of how my actions, tone of voice, etc are perceived by others. Late learning yet so thankful! Compassion training would help overall don’t ya think!


We really didn’t have any substance abuse education in school that I can think of. Somehow I was always friends with people who did drugs recreational in high school, so they were my source of education. I never tried any myself though.

Fast forward and being in a relationship w/ an addict, my substance education has come from all over. I wish it was taught in schools more. I feel like if we could teach kids that they may have addictive tendencies and not even know, they would be more cautious about experimenting.

For instance, my Dr. prescribed me Xanax this week because I was dealing w/ chest pains and I told her I experience anxiety. I quickly went to the internet to see how addictive Xanax is and found out that it is extremely. Had I not done my own research, I could have put myself in a dangerous situation. I also soon found out that my chest pains were a caused by the area around my heart being inflamed. How carelessly the Dr prescribed Xanax when I have a heart condition!

Sorry for my rant, but all of this made me realize how much education needs to be out there. Even for adults!


@Marie_Marie sometimes I forget how there are people that could think it “can’t be that bad”! Just being reminded this exists makes me so angry, but that’s why formal education for everyone on substance use is so necessary! ::slight_smile:


@stayhopeful244 you just touched on an extremely important topic! I’ve always had an issue with doctors being so quick to prescribe medication. Your chest pains could have been due to so many other things besides anxiety. Unfortunately, a lot of doctors forget to take individual differences into account, such as those who might have more specific problems, i.e. heart problems. Sure, doctors may not have ready access to this information in the moment, but I feel strongly that they should take more caution in prescribing drugs that can be so addictive and leave the patient in a worse place than they originally were to begin with.