Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

Decisions for the Future

Objective
To understand that choices sometimes present dilemmas, and that choices students make now may affect their future.

Background
Young adolescents often believe they are invulnerable. Their attention is focused on the present and they generally do not consider how actions such as drug use might affect their future.

Activities
Read aloud "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost. Discuss the following:

• Why does the speaker stop by the woods?
• Why is the speaker attracted to the woods?
• What is the speaker's dilemma?
• What does he choose and why?

Ask students to write a brief essay on how the speaker's choice between his goal of home and responsibilities and the unknown may parallel choices students have to make in their own lives. 

Ask students for examples of dilemmas they might face in which they must choose between responsible behavior and something that appears enticing, or risky, or would allow them to escape responsibilities (doing homework rather than going out with friends, choosing friends who engage in positive, healthy activities rather than ones who use drugs).

Read the poem aloud again.

Have students write a brief essay describing the "woods" in a decision they face, and what they think might happen in the future if they were to choose that route.

Resources
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost.

Teacher Tips
• Remind students that asking a trusted adult for help in making decisions that can affect their immediate or distant future is a good way to gain perspective on their choices.

• Emphasize that if a friend has taken a wrong direction and is having problems (such as drug use), it is better to tell a trusted adult who can help rather than letting the friend get into deeper problems.

Source
Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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