Peer Health Educators Host Workshops on Substance Use


Photo Courtesy of Lily Liu ’17

Last week, in Gilchrist, the a group of the Senior Peer Health Educators: Emma Trenchard, Helen Williams, Grace Dubay, Bailey Duffy, and Ms. Guerra talked to different dorms about drugs and alcohol.

Drugs and alcohol have always been a prevalent problem and this talk brought up some of the countless serious issues. Since middle school, we have been warned about drugs as being the “danger zone,” but we just took these talks for granted or even as a joke.

However, now is the time to genuinely consider its effects and consequences as we are surrounded in a society where drugs and alcohol are legitimate concerns as more people are drinking and doing drugs. Introducing our brain’s structure, Ms. Guerra informed that drinking at young age has significant effects since our brains still have not fully developed. As she brought up the spontaneity of teenagers without prudently thinking about the future consequences, she alerted us to be extra wary of the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Factually delivering the consequences, she made a great impact on our perspective of drugs and pulled us closer to the reality and away from the fantasied view.

The senior peer health educators focused on the consequences among our society from the students’ perspective. They brought up a striking point that not only peers, but also teachers can judge a student after he or she gets in trouble for drinking or doing drugs. They also made it clear that these rules still apply outside of school as they presented some incidents in the past where the school has extended jurisdiction. Though drugs are fantasized in some ways and that getting high is fun and exciting, the reality was made clear when they brought up stories of people in Loomis regretting their choice after getting deuced. They claimed that they should have thought about the consequences and not have surrendered to peer pressure because that little moment and careless action had changed their entire life.

The seniors also mentioned that one moment of carefree, thoughtless act is not worth it when considering all the effort we exerted in getting into this school and all the sacrifice our parents are making for our education at Loomis; it is just like a domino effect in which after all the effort to line them up, it only takes one domino to collapse the entire chain. The last thing to take into consideration is the college process. Any stupid mistake or thoughtless action could highly impact a student’s college application or even in the long term, impact his or her life.

In addition to the consequences, they thoroughly explained the rules. Loomis being a “second chance school,” allows one sanctuary for everyone. By claiming sanctuary after drinking or doing drugs, one can be “forgiven” per say. However, sanctuary cannot be claimed after getting caught and other people can claim sanctuary for their peers if they are out before they are caught. Even after all the possible consequences, some may still question “so what?” since they have already been bombarded with many drugs and alcohol talks, probably the most talked topic in schools after bullying. The point was clear in this meeting in that we all have to know how to say “NO” and stand up for ourselves because if we have a strong stance and know the consequences, not even peer pressure will be able to penetrate. In fact, they mentioned that your peers will respect you for refraining and staying strong instead of criticizing and judging. Informing that we all have the rights to say “NO” and the listing the aftermaths, hopefully, this talk raised more awareness and the courage to break the walls of peer pressure.