A REAL SUCCESS STORY
It’s well known that the borough is in the throes of an opioid epidemic. While we, along with other government agencies and private providers, are working to combat this problem head-on in many creative ways, the Borough President, through his Substance Abuse Task Force, has put a great deal of focus on education of young people so that they never try these drugs in the first place. First piloted in 2015, the program had such a positive impact that at the behest of BP Oddo, Mayor de Blasio agreed to fund the rolling out of the program to 47 local schools. The curriculum is now taught in every public 5th grade class and in most of the parochial schools. The Too Good for Drugs curriculum pairs NYPD officers under the leadership of Chief Ed Delatorre – and teachers, with fifth grade students. The students practice peer pressure refusal skills and explore positive and negative norms through interactive games, role-plays, and skits. These extraordinary fifth graders learn how to set and achieve reachable goals, and demonstrate effective communication skills. Beginning in 2017, pilots will be expanded to grades 7 and 9.
“We are grateful that the Mayor has recognized the value of the curriculum as part of the comprehensive strategy to attack the substance abuse problem that continues to ravage our borough. By utilizing ‘Too Good for Drugs,’ we hope to reach kids while they are still young to teach them how to make responsible decisions,” noted BP Oddo. “I believe this program will make a difference in years to come as the kids who participate utilize the skills and strategies they learn to stay away from opiates in the first place; this will be especially true if the curriculum were mandated and expanded to Pre K- 12.”