During the week of January 22, students at Everett High School were greeted with educational facts during morning announcements by Everett High School Principal Erick Naumann, such as, “Did you know that 83 percent of Everett High School students do not drink alcohol? More health education, more awareness and more afterschool and extracurricular activities have greatly contributed to reduce underage drinking and promote safe and healthy opportunities for teens.” The message was crafted by youth leaders from Teens in Everett Against Substance Abuse (TEASA), as part of National Drug and Alcohol Fact Week (NDAFW). Each morning, students and staff learned about the impact of substance misuse on health and risks associated with driving under the influence, underage drinking and tobacco.
Launched in 2010 by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, NDAFW was created to stimulate students’ understanding of substance use, science and addiction through creative methods to reach peers. In 2018 there were more than 2,300 events across the country.
In Everett, TEASA participated in several ways. In addition to daily all-school morning announcements at Everett High School, TEASA collaborated with the Everett Teen Enrichment Center to post messages and a creative display in the school entrance. “Being aware of what is going on in this world is key to prevent the harmful effects of it, help our community and be models for younger generations,” shared Saphir Alexandre, 17, a senior at Everett High School and a Peer Leader with TEASA.
It was important for members to identify the information necessary to share with their peers. “It shows that we can all be a part of something and that there are options for teens to be involved,” added Aissata Dansoko, 15, a junior at Everett High School.
“Being part of something so interesting and unique can be really helpful and give us great experiences for the rest of our life,” added Alexandre.
TEASA also uses social media to reach the community. You can read their posts and tweets by following TEASA on Facebook and @teasaEverett on Twitter and Instagram.
About the Everett Community Health Partnership–Substance Abuse Coalition (ECHP-SAC) and TEASA
ECHP-SAC is a community-based prevention coalition, and TEASA is led by Cambridge Health Alliance’s Community Health Improvement Department. Since 2003, ECHP-SAC has been committed to bringing together and mobilizing Everett’s diverse community to address issues associated with substance abuse while promoting positive health and well-being, especially among youths. Through a range of prevention efforts, the coalition uses multiple strategies in multiple settings to change the social norms on alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.