FCD teaches ninth graders for a week

By Jeanine Kim ’20
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Jose, a speaker from FCD, teachers a ninth grade class. Credit: Jeanine Kim ’20 / SPECTRUM

Freedom from Chemical Dependency (FCD) is an organization dedicated to drug addiction prevention. FCD sent specialists to the Middle School, encouraging students to resist experimenting with alcohol and other drugs. FCD sends specialists to 1,000 different schools in 40 states and 65 different countries.

Although the representatives usually come in the spring, this year, the representatives came the first week back from winter break because of a survey sent to last year’s tenth graders. According to chaplain Emily Feigenson, there was not a large number of students drinking, but rather a small cluster of students who were consuming dangerous amounts of alcohol. Reportedly, they had begun drinking during ninth grade, prompting Feigenson to bring FCD in earlier than usual. For one week, these visitors came into ninth grade classrooms and discuss the consequences of drug addiction.

Using methods such as providing real details to educate the teens about the consequences of early substance usage or teaching students how to intervene when faced with a drug-related issue, FCD’s goal is to provide educational communities with the guidance necessary to implement substance abuse prevention. Rather than targeting drug addicts, FCD goes to high schools all over the world to prevent addiction.

“FCD’s work in schools is always from a health perspective and under-girded by the social norms approach to prevention,” Jennifer White, FCD Client Relations Officer, said in an email.

Unlike other organizations, all the specialists are former addicts, giving them a unique perspective on the matter of drug addiction and abuse. Their former addiction gives them a base in knowledge and understanding.

“FCD helped a lot because they made us think about the choices we were making. Instead of making huge reveals about drugs, they informed us about the consequences and that was very effective,” Nico Guillen ’20 said.

 

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