Dangers of Drugs

Rush University Medical Center’s T. Celeste Napier, Ph. D., was one of four scientists testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives on the toll drug addiction takes on society, providing information on how drugs like methamphetamines affect users’ brain and body. Dr. Napier provided members of Congress information on the prevalence and dangers of illicit drug use on our youth.

She highlighted the Robert Crown Center for Health Education’s heroin prevention program being piloted in Illinois school districts, including Indian Prairie School District 204, as an effective primary prevention education model aimed at reducing use and abuse of illegal drugs. Dr. Napier described Robert Crown Center’s initiative, bringing cutting-edge brain research into the classroom, teaching students, parents and school staff how drugs impact adolescent users.

“The Robert Crown Center is developing and implementing a completely new educational framework to interface with the school systems, based on what science tells us are the risk factors faced by youth and which contribute to experimenting with drugs,” said Napier. “The critical partnership with our Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction provides access to the cutting edge brain research that is then transferred to the classroom. The educational framework includes both the neuroscience‐based knowledge of how abused drugs act on the adolescent brain as well as the social/emotional learning required to reverse the rising trends of drug abuse among our youth.”
When questioned by U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, Dr. Napier underscored the support needed for evaluation and customization of educational efforts for the various student populations served.

Dr. Napier is the Director of Rush’s Center for Compulsive Behavior and Addiction and serves as a resource for Robert Crown Center’s prevention education program. She also appears in educational materials aimed at students, parents and school staff being piloted in three Naperville schools this year.

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