Another Way Trinity Leads the Fight Against Drug Abuse

Dr. Aaron Striegel Selected for National Institute

Tim Rivette, Staff Reporter

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A mother is traveling down the expressway with her child in the backseat. Suddenly, a puff of smoke comes from the mother’s mouth. The child in the backseat lets out a cough. Smoking is just one of many drug-related problems in the United States.

Trinity teacher/counselor Dr. Aaron Striegel is taking action to help stop this crisis. Striegel was one of 10 people selected out of 2,000 applicants nationwide to work with the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Striegel said, “(The committee members) help to create drug prevention materials for schools by sharing our ideas and evaluating programs.”

Striegel, Trinity’s Advanced Program counselor for freshman through seniors, is a certified alcohol and drug counselor with 15 years of teaching a drug prevention class at Trinity.

Striegel, the director for Toussaint House, said of the committee, “We have educators from South Carolina, California, Illinois and  New Jersey.”  

Trinity is a national leader when it comes to drug prevention. None of the other schools in the committee do drug testing, but most of them want to. ”

— Dr. Aaron Striegel

The committee evaluates drug prevention materials that will go into schools and communicates through teleconference and computers.

“We all pitch in our ideas on whether we like it or dislike it, and why,” Striegel said. “In the committee, we talk a lot about trends, including vaping, e-cigarettes and marijuana, which seem to be the most prominent drugs among teens right now.”

                                                                                      photo by Tim Rivette
Dr. Aaron Striegel was selected to work with the National Institute on Drug Abuse

The committee also discusses heroin, methamphetamines, alcohol and nicotine, but focuses mostly on the trending drugs.

“We know the number-one way to prevent drug use among teenagers is through education,” Striegel said.

The committee also realizes that social norms are important to consider. Striegel said, “If you go to a football game and the stadium is full of Budweiser signs, what message does that send?”

Trinity also uses drug testing as another drug prevention tool. “Trinity is a national leader when it comes to drug prevention,” Striegel said. “None of the other schools in the committee do drug testing, but most of them want to. It is a way to help students not use drugs, and if they test positive, we try to get them the help they need.”

Seniors appreciate Striegel’s approach to the drug prevention class he teaches.

Senior Jakob Gordon said, “I want to go into law enforcement when I grow up, and (the course) will help me deal with drugs.”

Senior Henry Wilmes said, “Dr. Striegel is very personable and gets along with and cares for the students. I took this class because it was interesting to see the effects drugs and alcohol have on you.”




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