At the end of last week, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the launch of First Lady Casey DeSantis’ statewide initiative: “The Facts. Your Future.”
This program directly youth in Florida to improve their understanding of the effects of drug abuse and empower teens to reach their full potential. Through a series of school assemblies, “The Facts. Your Future.” will provide an interactive space for schools to educate their students on the consequential impacts of substance abuse.
“Substance abuse is one the major reasons some of our youth fail to reach their true potential,” said Gov. DeSantis. “As the First Lady continues to advocate and support Florida’s youth, this new initiative is another key step to protect and educate our children. We must ensure teens across our state have the tools and knowledge to make good decisions that will positively impact the rest of their lives.”
“The Facts. Your Future. empowers Florida students with the facts needed to make informed decisions for their future,” said First Lady DeSantis. “The earlier teens start using drugs, the greater their chances of continuing to use them and developing substance abuse problems later in life. As the parent testimony today exemplifies, these decisions can be a matter of life and death. We must educate our children on these important issues to ensure they live long and healthy lives.”
Schools statewide will be provided the necessary resources to host their own assemblies, alongside collateral campaign materials to continue essential conversations throughout the school year. By engaging with peers directly through schools, parents, and educators, this initiative focuses on direct channels that foster healthy conversations about the facts around substance use.
In July, the State Board of Education adopted groundbreaking student performance standards on substance abuse prevention. This program will help support schools and educators in meeting state requirements for instruction in the area of substance abuse prevention. The substance abuse prevention standards give students an opportunity to develop an awareness of the dangers associated with the use and abuse of harmful substances and develop essential knowledge and skills that promote a drug free lifestyle.
“The human brain does not finish developing until the mid to late twenties, and areas responsible for controlling impulses develop last,” said Dr. Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general. “Teens need to understand the long-term effects of substance use in order to make sound decisions, and youth who engage in drug use have a higher chance of addiction later in life. The First Lady’s initiative is breaking new ground to ensure protection of Florida’s students and will continue to evolve through schools statewide.”
“I want to thank First Lady Casey DeSantis for her crucial leadership to protect children,” said Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran. “The dangers of substance use and abuse are clear – not only can they ruin a child’s life, they can end it as well. To be crystal clear, this is an opportunity for us to help save lives and prevent tragedies through education. Our goal is to provide students with a world-class education that helps students become great citizens, and this wonderful initiative of the First Lady will help us ensure students have a bright future in the Sunshine State.”
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