Opioids: Usage, Availability, and Perception Among Students

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, drug usage among teenagers has become a major issue in educational institutions. Around 20 percent of high school students have reported using some type of illegal substance in the last month, and 17 percent reported using drugs during the school day.

Students approaching adolescence are particularly susceptible to harm stemming from the misuse of opioids. Opioid addiction can significantly impact a child’s life and their transition into adulthood. In addition, opioids are now more easily accessible and attainable than other drugs. In fact, easy accessibility is one of the most associated risk factors of opioid addiction among adolescent students in the United States.

How Video Surveillance Can Help Minimize Drug Activity

Video surveillance cameras can help alert staff to signs of potential drug usage. For instance, if a student comes back from a break with “red eyes” or exhibits strange behaviors associated with drug use, a School Resource Officer can immediately notify an administrator. 

Surveillance cameras can also be used to capture student interactions to identify “high risk” students who need substance abuse interventions.

Another benefit to setting up cameras in schools is being able to monitor, identify and mitigate any “high risk” areas where drug activity is prevalent.  These areas may be unsupervised, such as large parking lots, in which students are more likely to engage in drug-related activities. 

Video Monitoring as a Deterrent for Theft

When school surveillance systems are installed in plain sight it can serve as a deterrent to criminals. This is especially true when used in conjunction with a sign stating that security cameras are in use. According to a study conducted at The UNC Charlotte of Criminal Justice, 60 percent of convicted burglars looked for security cameras before committing a crime, and 40 percent of burglars agreed that the presence of security cameras would motivate them to pursue a different target.

A similar study done by the Electronic Security Association (ESA) stated that about 83 percent of burglars would check for security cameras before breaking into a home, and 60 percent agreed they would avoid homes that had security cameras.

According to a news article by “The Daily Telegraph,” schools that installed security cameras experienced less bullying and violence-related incidents. Some schools even reported a 70 percent drop in bullying after installation. 

Bullying in Schools

According to the Department of Education, the following core elements of bullying are:

  • Unwanted aggressive behavior
  • An observed or perceived power imbalance
  • A repetition of aggressive behaviors

Bullying prevention is a newly developed area of research and continues to capture the attention of educational stakeholders. As a result, we are beginning to understand the long-term effects and complexity of bullying.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, bullying rates have steadily decreased since 2005. However, bullying has increased since 2016 for children living in rural areas. In addition, students ranging from ages 12 to 18 have reported that bullies:

  • Have an influence on how their peers view them 
  • Are more popular
  • Are bigger and/or stronger than them 
  • Have more money
  • Possess power

According to students’ perceptions, the main leverage that a bully has against their victims is the ability to influence the perceptions of others. As a result, only about 20-30 percent of students that get bullied ever notify an adult.

Avoided Areas for Victims

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, students that experienced bullying disclosed the following target areas: 

  • Classroom – 42%
  • Hallway or Stairwell – 43%
  • Cafeteria – 27%
  • Outside on School Grounds – 22%
  • Online or by text – 15%
  • Bathroom or Locker Room – 12%
  • School Bus – 8%
  • Other areas in the Building – 2%

Each year, the number of students who avoid these target areas increases out of fear of being attacked or harmed.

Mental Health Concerns Associated with Bullying

Bullying can negatively affect everyone that is involved. Students who get bullied are more likely to:

  • Feel isolated and disconnected 
  • Dislike school
  • Drop-out of school
  • Experience anxiety and/or depression
  • Have lower self-esteem
  • Have substance abuse issues
  • Commit Suicide

Students who witness bullying are prone to the same outcomes as the victims. They may also feel an added sense of powerlessness and guilt for not acting. In addition, bullying undermines both the classroom atmosphere and school climate by having a negative impact on:

  • Learning
  • Student safety
  • Staff retention
  • Trust and confidence of parents
  • Behavior

For students to learn effectively, they need to feel safe. By installing cameras in school hallways, classrooms, gymnasiums, athletic fields, and playgrounds we can ensure their safety. 

Active Shooters in Educational Facilities

An active shooter is defined by the Department of Homeland Security as an individual actively engaged in killing, or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated space. An active shooter will use a gun and kill at random. These situations are dangerous, unpredictable, and can happen in a matter of minutes. 

According to the CHDS, a growing percentage of active shootings occur in schools. In addition, studies have shown that shooters tend to focus on “soft targets,” which are easily accessible locations with limited security and a high density of people. According to FBI preliminary reports in 2018, there was an average of at least 1 school shooting per week.

By installing surveillance cameras in schools, the footage can be sent directly to law enforcement allowing them to immediately identify the active shooter suspect upon arrival.

Homeland surveillance cameras can be programmed to:

  • Monitor activity 24 hours, 7 days a week
  • Track any movement from one area to another
  • Track and identify an intruder or active shooter
  • Effectively capture images of vandalism, substance abuse, or bullying

Security Cameras Are Essential for Protecting Our Schools

Security cameras will:

  • Reduce liability issues for school staff members
  • Determine who is at fault in the event of an accident 
  • Hold both teachers and students accountable
  • Identify and modify behavioral issues
  • Serve as a proactive solution instead of reactive

To effectively protect our schools and ensure the safety of our students’ we need to utilize state of the art technology and software. At Homeland Safety Systems, we offer a wide range of camera options, easy installation, and high-quality equipment.

We’re certified by FEMA in School Crisis Management and provide risk assessments for schools across Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi. Furthermore, we design and manufacture all security cameras on-site and guarantee to provide our customers with a durable and dependable product worthy of investment.

For more information, please visit our website at homelandsafetysystems.com or call us at 888-909-2261.

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