High School Assembly Program Outline
Overview: We believe the entire community has a role in the opioid epidemic. We address the assembly in a non-judgmental, factual and statistical way. We give a matter of fact presentation. We provide steps or actions for every single person who attends to have an impact on the epidemic. This particular program is suitable for 6th – 12th graders based on current national statistics regarding age of entry for drug use.
Time: 1.5 hours is the perfect length of time for this assembly, but it can be adjusted down to 1 hour or up to 2 hours.
1. Opening: We provide one or two life examples such as a young adult in recovery whose story is compelling and shows the slip into addiction. We sometimes also have a parent or sibling of a loved one who is addicted or whose life was lost to show the struggle created for families.
2. Acknowledging the Problem: We present some national statistics and have the student body identify how their school compares. We do this by simple question and answer and hand raising activities which students enjoy. As students answer questions we hand out candy rewards which each have information on them regarding addiction and ways to help with the epidemic.
3. Roles: We identify roles so that every student in the assembly will personally find their own a role. We do this for many reasons – it allows everyone to have a role so that no one is made to feel guilty or bad nor will any student be left feeling like “none of this even applies to me.” It gives students who may be struggling with use suggestions of how to get help and it gives students who may be struggling with a family member or friend’s drug use a way to deal with those challenges.
These are the roles we identify in the assembly:
1. Don’t use drugs now and may never encounter them socially.
2. Don’t use drugs now but encounter them socially.
3. Use recreationally now.
4. Using now and possibly addicted.
5. Have a family member or friend addicted.
4. Actions: For each of the roles, we give actual steps the person can do to help with this epidemic.
5. Closing: We close with summarizing some of the truths learned during the assembly and identifying some of the action items we developed during the course of the assembly.
Other Options: Students do find smaller groups more comfortable to open up in. An alternative to the large assembly is meeting with classes individually.