All material is age appropriate and designed for grades 8 – 12.

Topics of Discussion:

Alcohol – sober in high school, successful in life

*  Adult social drinking vs. adolescent bingeing; approaching  alcohol as a beverage rather than a drug
*  What is the likelihood of a teen being a true social drinker?
*  Postponement as a viable option.

Tobacco – the most addictive substance on the planet

*  Media manipulation – a marketing strategy that targets youth
*  Social rewards – the empty promise
*  How nicotine changes the brain and the agony of quitting

Marijuana Today – sifting through the mixed messages

*  Dispelling the myth that marijuana is not addictive
*  Marijuana as medicine – how does this apply to people who are not ill?
*  Recognizing THC as a potent psychoactive agent

Addiction – who’s at risk?

*  Genetics, environment and the power of perception
*  All use poses a risk of dependence
*  Damaged relationships as first sign of trouble

Peer Intervention – friends steering friends toward health

*  Alternatives to enabling behavior
*  Learning language for compassionate confrontationWhen is it time to   involve an adult?

Non-use – the joys and challenges

*  What inspires us to take good care of ourselves?
*  How can adults support kids who choose not to drink?
*  Bringing out the diversity amongst non-users and giving them a voice

Brenda also offers assemblies and workshops for various student groups: peer educators, student government, athletes, dorm leaders, etc.

Each school has unique needs and the presentations can be tailored accordingly.

“I have been teaching in private schools for almost 30 years and have experienced a number of different substance abuse consultants and presenters.  I just want you to know that during your visit to Moses Brown this year, my chemistry students began class each day with a 5 minute sharing of what they learned.  I did NOT prompt this; the kids brought up your seminar and all I did was listen.  I have never seen kids so positive about the information; they seemed to be taking the time to process what you said and fit it into their lives…

There is no doubt you made a difference…Thanks for your work.

Joyce Hooley-Bartlett – science teacher, Moses Brown School


*  Validating the Non-Using Student
*  Latest Developments in Adolescent Alcohol and Other Drug Use
*  Strategies for Developing Student Assistance Teams
*  Faculty Intervention Strategies for Students at Risk
*  Consultation on ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drugs) School Policy and Handbook

“She was funny, lively and very sincere – an approach that makes parents feel comfortable with a topic of such seriousness. One of her strongest messages was that all of us need to be more cognizant of supporting the kids who are not using alcohol or other drugs – they are the ones who have the ability to influence their peers’ attitudes towards substance use.”
Lynn Plack – parent, Bryn Mawr School

All research points to parental involvement as being the single most important factor in an adolescent’s relationship to alcohol. Drug-free kids cite parental disappointment as the #1 reason for their choice not to use…

*  Drug Education 101 You Should know as Much as They Do
*  A Glimpse Into Adolescence
*  Role Modeling
*  Effective Strategies for Parent/Child Communication
*  Boundaries: How to be an Ally Rather Than a Friend
*  Supporting the Non-Using Child Creating an Environment That Invites Your Child to Choose Abstinence

*Early Intervention