New Club Gives Prep Students Hope

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New Club Gives Prep Students Hope

Grant Morrissey, Jay Journal Staff

Earlier this year, a club was formed to helstudents with their personal lives and decisions regarding the use of vapes and nicotine. This club is called “Nicotine Awareness Group” or “NAG” for short.

Vaping with nicotine has been on the rise with teens in AmericaNAG was started by a group of three Prep students who wanted to help themselves and fellow students who have noticed their own addiction. They wanted a place to seek where getting help wasn’t going to get them into trouble, a place where talking about stopping wasn’t viewed as a negative either.

“I felt the need that enough was enough and it wasn’t cool. So I wanted to take a step to help myself and others around me,” a NAG member said.

This group of students found that, with the benefit of having a new school mental health professional, Mr. Kevin Kaminski, it has helped facilitate the group and, in turn, has helped all sorts of kids. With his help, Kaminski works to make sure kids feel safe to get help.

“I take the group very seriously because it’s a vulnerable situation,” Kaminski said.
“Confidentiality is only as strong as the members make it.”

NAG meets at least once a week in group format, where they talk about ways they can stop using, avoid the temptation to relapse and try to end their current ways their lives have functioned with nicotine.

The group takes many rules into account before people join. The first rule is that people in the group remain anonymous. They value anonymity as well as confidentiality, what is said in the room, stays in the room.

“I feel like having it be anonymous keeps you like a normal person around the school and not looked at differently,” a NAG member said.

They also value helping one another and holding each other accountable. One way they hold each other accountable at this level is by sharing with the group about such areas as recent nicotine relapses. People in the group understand that someone can hide their recent usage, but then the they would only be hurting himself by keeping it hiddenHolding each other accountable is very important to help stay clean and to help one another.

“I believe through most of my work with groups, accountability by peers is more effective as well as more genuine,” Kaminski said. “It’s more relatable and especially through this group they have consistent contact with one another.”

Although the group is fairly small, it is only in its first year. They are hoping students can seek the club to help them for the better. NAG will also be expanding going into next year and they plan on reaching out to younger ages at middle schools.

“I think it’s a great idea to reach out to younger children who don’t have experience to show them it isn’t cool and to never start it. It especially helps to hear it from someone with experience,” a NAG member said.

The group is hoping to talk to younger students where they plan on talking to younger children on the controlled substance that can addict brains so easily at such a young age.

“I think it would be very informative for them just having someone is who is older and has experience to show them that it isn’t cool and is not worth it,” a NAG member said

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