Substance Abuse - Help Nip Drugs in the Bud
Research literature concludes that the success of drug education is significantly enhanced if trained student peer leaders teach curriculum components. This was the basis for the major fund-raising initiative to celebrate the Masonic Foundation’s 25th Anniversary in 1989. The goal of the project was, and remains, to "Help Nip Drugs in the Bud," and resulted in $1.1 million being raised.
In the Nip Drugs Program, trained senior secondary school students teach preventative alcohol and other drug education to junior students: grades seven and eight students by Parent Action on Drugs (PAD); and grades nine and ten by the Council on Drug Abuse (CODA). These training programs are sponsored by grants from the Masonic Foundation. Over $1 million has been given since 1990 to conduct training sessions for peer educators in primary and secondary schools all across Ontario.
There are six peer-based CODA programs, each linked on a core curriculum or set of activities, including the original Peers, Transitions, Alternatives (PTA) Program, conducted over two class periods in Grades 9 and 10, and the new Bridging the Gap Program, containing 15 activities conducted over a semester by senior peer mentors.
With funding assistance form the Masonic Foundation, PAD delivers its CBC: Challenges, Beliefs and Changes Program, aimed at senior high school students to train as peer leaders to deliver the program to an audience of Grade 8 students. A new Grade Nine Program, CBC9, has been developed and is currently undergoing final testing.