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Empowering Education at Dunellen High: The Perinatal Addiction Prevention Project

At Dunellen High School, education goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. It’s about empowering students with knowledge that can shape their futures and communities. Central Jersey Family Health Consortium's Perinatal Addiction Prevention Project visited the high school to teach students about Sexual Assault Awareness month, the impact of drug and alcohol use has on their brain development, and about the impact on pregnancy.

The project took students on a journey through awareness and understanding, starting with discussions on sexual assault prevention. Through the impactful Clothesline Project, students showed solidarity with survivors and amplified their voices, creating a powerful visual display of support.

But the education didn’t stop there. Students also engaged in conversations about opioid drug and alcohol use, exploring the dangers and consequences associated with substance abuse on their brains and bodies. By providing factual information and fostering open dialogue, the project aimed to equip students with the knowledge and tools to make informed decisions and support their peers.

One of the most eye-opening experiences of the day came when students had the opportunity to try on prosthetic pregnancy bellies. By physically experiencing the side effects of pregnancy students gained a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by expectant mothers. This hands-on activity fostered empathy and compassion, encouraging students to consider the realities of parenthood and the importance of responsible decision-making.

Through the Perinatal Addiction Prevention Project, Dunellen High School is not only educating students but also empowering them to become advocates for change in their communities. By addressing sensitive topics and promoting empathy, the project is helping to create a safer and more supportive environment for all students.

As the day concluded, students left with more than just knowledge—they left with a renewed sense of empathy, empowerment, and a commitment to making a difference.