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A Dose of Reality
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"A Dose of Reality" Program Overview

 Linda Dutil touches young people's lives with a personal blend of

 seriousness, humor,  and emotion.  Her experience as an emergency room

 nurse has taught her that many choices young people make make often end

 tragically.  For the past several years she has been speaking to thousands of

middle school, high school, and college students across the country about

the dangers of drug use, underage drinking, alcohol poisoning, drinking &

driving, driver and seatbelt safety, and self mutilation.   

           Intervention skills are an important part of this program.  Linda shares

ways to say no and very importantly, things to do if your friend has made poor

choices and has been drinking.  (Very often young people are at a party and

they panic when their friend is in trouble.)  This program brings with it a strong

emphasis to always get help for your friends and why that is critical ... no

matter what the circumstance is.

           Linda doesn't lecture.  She simply shares with students in a 45-minute

 assembly format what happens to them when they

make poor choices.  She shares personal, age

appropriate stories of young people that she has

cared for.  By demonstrating the emergency room overdose or alcohol

poisoning scene, she shows students exactly what they will experience if

rushed to the hospital.  

          This program is not graphic and not at scared-straight approach.  It is

straight forward though.  Linda's program never fails to get and keep the

student's attention.   
 

Topics Addressed

      1. Feelings:

      • Peer pressure, Worthlessness, "Fitting-in,"  (self-mutilation upon request)
         
        `

      2. Alcohol:

      • Dangers of underage drinking
      • Alcohol poisoning
      • College level: Absorption - how alcohol is metabolized - "Why your friend doesn't appear immediately drunk."
      • College level: BAL (blood alcohol level)

                                                     

      3.  Driver Safety (High School & College Level):

                  -- Drinking & Driving

                  -- Seatbelt Safety (upon request)

                  -- Driver inattention (upon request)

      4. Drugs:

      • Middle and High School level: "unknown pills/substances", Marijuana
      • College level: Street drugs such as Cocaine, Crack, Meth, Heroin, Hallucinogens and date rape drugs.  
      • Prescription Drugs, Over the Counter Medication, Diet Pills, and Narcotic pain pills
      • Steroids (upon request)

 

Presentation Guidelines

Length:

---45 minutes.  The duration can be shortened or lengthened to meet the needs of the participating school.  Question and answer time after the assembly is welcomed.

Venue and audience size requirements: 

---If the venue is an auditorium:

  1. There needs to be a sound system provided.

  2. No limit on audience size.

  3. The stage needs to be "well lit."

---If the venue is a gymnasium:  

  1. There needs to be a sound system provided.
  2. Preferred audience size is between 200 and 600 students.
  3. The students can only be on one side of the gym.  It is very important that they are all in front of me.  (If there is an overflow of students, they may sit on the floor in front of the bleachers.)
  4. If the school is large and the student body will not fit on one side of the gym, then the administrators will often choose one or two grades to target.  (Depending on health curriculum that may tie in, or current issues at the school involving drugs/alcohol.)

---If the venue is a cafeteria:  

  1. There needs to be a sound system provided.
  2. There needs to be a stage at the end of the cafeteria or the school needs to provide risers or some sort of platform for me to stand on.
  3. If this is not possible, and I am standing at floor level, then the students need to be sitting on the floor. 

Audio-Visual Needs:

      • Microphone - hand-held (corded or cordless ) cannot be clip-on/lavaliere or a headset.
      • One medium sized table
      • Two chairs
      • Two music stands
      • Computer, Projector, and Screen for Power Point (The PowerPoint demonstration is at the very end of the presentation.)

Summary

    "A Dose of Reality" is a unique presentation.  Dutil's sincere and engaging personality shines in this energetic and interactive program.  Her compassion and emotion grabs you, pulls you in, and leaves you with a new respect for your physical and mental health.

 This assembly does make a lasting difference in young people's lives.  In a very appealing yet straightforward manner, Dutil delivers a fascinating……….dose of reality!

 

Linda Dutil, R.N. (Emergency Department Nurse)

Linda Dutil grew up in the town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  As a teenager and college student, she watched the lives of close friends altered by poor choices involving drugs and alcohol.

Eventually, she moved to the state of Maine where she met and married her husband Brian.  Her long time fascination with science and medicine finally brought her to nursing school.  

While her three children (now ages 20, 22, and 23) were young, she completed her nursing degree.  She soon discovered her love and fascination for emergency room medicine.  "I found that making a difference in someone's life was a tremendous personal reward," she states.

 

Fifteen years ago, a local Deputy from the Sheriff's Department called and asked for Linda's assistance in a local school.  He asked her to share personal stories and to show the students what happens as a result of poor choices. 

The response to this first presentation was tremendous from both staff and students! 

By sharing her experiences as an ER nurse, Linda helps students consider the consequences of poor choices and enables them to develop healthy attitudes about life.  "The emergency room is the last place anyone wants to visit," Dutil states.  "I hope to make a lasting impression on young people across the country.  I want to empower them with the skills that they need to make good choices to stay safe!"

 

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