“Does shandy count as alcohol? »: 700 teenagers made aware of addictions in Essonne

“Does shandy count as alcohol?  »: 700 teenagers made aware of addictions in Essonne

“Madam, what is the golden nugget actually? » asks Nathan (the first names of the middle school students have been changed). ” In your opinion ? » replies Nadine Germain, psychotherapist and sociologist who runs a workshop on addiction for third grade students. Saint-Exupéry college in Marolles-en-Hurepoixhas the JDB Cancer Prevention Foundation. ” Drugs ? » Nathan tries. “Not only that,” explains Nadine Germain. The golden nugget is a metaphor we use to talk about what we are addicted to. And what do we become addicted to? To something we…? ” ” love ! » finish the 14 middle school students with one voice.

Since January 22 and until February 9, 700 young people from Essonne and Yvelines are leaving their schools for a day to think about addictions. “We carry out this Décrypt’Addiction action every year,” explains Vincent Grasteau, director of the Foundation. “This year, our action lasts three and a half weeks, but just with word of mouth, we could have filled it for two months,” breathes Amandine Bozonnet, program coordinator.

“Important that they do not feel judged”

The purpose of these days is multiple: raise awareness among young people about addictions therefore, and try to avoid or delay “first-time consumption of psychoactive products” as much as possible. But also “make sure to open the dialogue, to make them think,” continues the coordinator. It is very important that they do not feel judged, that they can speak freely about these subjects. They relax as the day goes on but are often afraid of the moralizing aspect when they arrive. » Like Zoé who, while filling out a questionnaire on her consumption, discreetly slips to Nadine: “Does shandy count as alcohol? »

But then, what do middle school students like? What could they become addicted to? ? The answers come flooding in: “sport” for some, “chocolate” for others, “I’m addicted to sleeping,” announces Lola. “Especially in class! » says the Spanish teacher who accompanies them. “Shopping”, “money!” “. “The screens,” suggests Nathan, whose intervention is directly followed by a hubbub of approval. “And the puff?” » asks Nadine Germain. More timid approval. “And there are some who like to read? » This time, disapproval wins.

The first consumption of alcohol often within the family

Nadine Germain has been working with the League Against Cancer for 18 years within Bligny hospital and has been doing prevention among young people since the Foundation opened in 2012. She has observed a significant change in behavior. “Before it wasn’t always easy, there were consumers. Today, they are very informed about what is toxic and what is not, says Nadine between two workshops. For alcohol, the first consumption often takes place within the family. And cigarettes… Obviously, they know what it is, but for some, they look at it from a very distance. »

“During this day,” explains Amandine Bozonnet, “we also participate in the development of the students’ famous personal and social skills. That is to say that implicitly, they work on self-esteem, affirmation of their choices and learn to ask for help if they need it. »

When it comes to asserting his choices, Sacha has no difficulty. Sitting sideways at his table, he interrupts Nadine Germain in the middle of an explanation on addictions and their impact on the brain, particularly when it is young. “Actually, I don’t understand how people can be addicted to cigarettes or other things. I don’t touch that,” he said. “And you’ve never been attracted?” », asks Nadine. “But even if I’m attracted, I know very well that it’s not good, so it’s dead, I don’t take it. I won’t be addicted,” insists Sacha, convinced.

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