04 Jun Prescott-Russell Racing Against Drugs
Each May, Prescott-Russell Emergency Medical Service partners with several local agencies and private businesses to stage “Racing Against Drugs,” a community-based drug and alcohol awareness program for almost 1,000 Grade Six students.
Racing Against Drugs is a bilingual community-based drug and alcohol awareness program that demonstrates the benefits of a drug and alcohol free lifestyle and offers various alternatives to students by teaching them skills and tactics to say “NO” to drugs and alcohol.
Student teams manoeuvre a remote miniature race car through a series of pit stops where representatives from different agencies explain the effect drugs and alcohol can cause to individuals under the influence of an impairing substance as well as teaching them about healthy lifestyle choices and their benefits.
Prescott & Russell Emergency Services
Prescott & Russell’s paramedic pit stop focuses on serious health consequences of drug use, emphasizing the harm of street drugs and prescription drugs taken without authorization. It also teaches students teaches student how to say NO to drugs and how to resist peer pressure.
Not only do paramedics demonstrate the physical and psychological effects of drug abuse, but they also show students the equipment they use to save a person from an overdose. They also demonstrate the techniques that bystanders can perform while waiting on the arrival of paramedics, such as the lateral safety position and CPR.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
At the RCMP pit stop, officers offer each student to experience the excitement of racing electric cars competitively on a professionally built 1:24 scale oval slot car track by taking as many laps around the track without crashing. At the end of each event, (one in the morning and the other in the afternoon) four students from each school participate in a race where the objective is to accumulate as many laps as possible within four minutes. At the end of the week, the school with the most laps is awarded a trophy (and bragging rights!)
This unique experience gives the students an adrenaline rush, supporting the basis of the program—that it is possible to have fun and experience high sensations without drugs or alcohol.
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP)
At the OPP pitstop, students learn in a fun and interactive manner about the potential impacts the decisions they make in regards to drug and alcohol use.
This pitstop reinforces to the students that there are many people around who are available to help them in their daily life and/or during difficult times.
Students teams work together to ate together in supporting a classmate. This activity clearly demonstrates that young people can perform great achievements when they are surrounded by people who have their welfare at heart.
The Estrie Community Health Center
The aim of this pitstop is to improve students’ understanding of marketing and the media in promoting drug and alcohol products. Discussions and role play are used to encourage critical thinking, especially as it relates to marketing, social media, and peer influences when making decisions. Students are encouraged to consult reliable sources in order to develop informed opinions.
Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU)
Cannabis—legal or not—is a hot topic.
Representatives of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit representatives used their pitstop to discuss cannabis use and to answer the students’ questions about this very hot topic. Students learned various reasons to avoid cannabis and explored short-term and long-term consequences of drugs on their physical and mental health.
Canadian Food Guide & Energy Drinks
This pitstop explored the advantages of a healthy diet and eating according to the Canadian Food Guide. It also raised the students’ awareness of health problems that can be related to the use of energy drinks.
The Organizing Committee provided the student participants with a healthy snack of cheese curds, chocolate milk and apple wedges at this pitstop.
Patenaude Martial Arts
A healthy lifestyle begins with physical activity. This pitstop demonstrated the benefits of physical activity on the body such as coordination, agility and sense of well-being. Representatives of Petenaude Martial Arts used this pitstop to talk about how all of these elements contribute to personal self-confidence and to make good choices.
This event is one of the highlights of the community outreach programs offered by Prescott-Russell Emergency Medical Service. In fact, planning is already beginning for next year’s Racing Against Drugs week!