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NSTA Position Statement:
Substance Use and Abuse
There is abundant evidence that the general public considers substance abuse a major problem. Students have revealed the same concern in surveys conducted nationwide. NSTA endorses the efforts o many school systems to conduct programs to help students understand the problem.
NSTA proposes the following guidelines for the development and implementation of such programs:
- The science education curriculum should include information about the effects of substance use and abuse.
- The thrust of such programs should be to promote healthful living.
- The programs should include information to help students make rational judgments regarding the consumption of commonly accepted over-the-counter drugs such as nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, and aspirin.
- The fact that the use of tobacco or tobacco products in any form is harmful to good health should be clearly documented.
- Student should be informed of the research which demonstrates clearly that marijuana, cocaine and other illegal substances does cause physiological harm.
- Facts concerning the effects of the use of substances that may be abused should be presented, rather than counter-productive detailed discussion and explanation of the substances themselves.
- The programs should make available to students, medical evidence that will help them to understand the inherent dangers of substance use and abuse.
- The ultimate goal of substance use/abuse awareness programs should be to eliminate substance abuse by giving students the up-to-date scientific knowledge they must have in order to make informed decisions.
—Adopted by the NSTA Board of Directors