Health helps students make better decisions

Health Photo

The Heritage Health Class educates about different types of drugs and how they affect the body.

Drug and alcohol use is very prominent among the Heritage student body; however, by the time students graduate, they should not be ignorant of the health risks associated with substance abuse.

Health Education is a course every Heritage student is required to take.

“I think that Health really forces students to evaluate the effects drugs and alcohol have on the body. Students learn to classify drugs into different groups, such as stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens, and they study the varied effects each group has on the body,” says the Department Chair of Physical Education Mrs. Lori Lee.

Students also do a health inventory that helps to identify detrimental health patterns. Self-assessment is a helpful tool when educating because students may be more willing to alter health behaviors if they are able to recognize problems.

“It is important that students are honest with themselves when taking the initial health inventory and I try to create an environment where student feel comfortable being honest,” says Lee.

Some drugs such as marijuana are perceived to not create major health risks, and this perception has been more widely accepted among students since marijuana was legalized.

“I have had students tell me that marijuana is a better choice than drinking alcohol and that they do not consider it a considerable health risk. A large part of Health education is to get rid of some misconceptions like these,” says Lee.

Students learn statistics and facts about alcohol and drug use, helping to give students an idea about the dangers of substance abuse is.

“One statistic that really stuck with me was that alcohol poisoning is the third leading cause of death in the United States,” says Samantha Hennings ’17.

Educating students about health risks does not always mean students will make better choices. However, people will at least have the insight to recognize what they are doing to their bodies.

“Sometimes students will come back to me and tell me they are trying to quit smoking and it is very nice to know that this education is helping at least some students develop better health patterns,” says Lee.


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