Substance Prevention Resources for Educators
We’d love to collaborate! Healthy Lamoille Valley Youth Substance Prevention Coordinator – firstname.lastname@example.org
School staff members can play a powerful role in the prevention of substance misuse among their students. Together, educators and families can work to send strong and consistent messages to students about misusing substances.
USEFUL WEBSITES FOR SUBSTANCE PREVENTION:
VT Helplink is your statewide, public resource for finding substance use treatment and recovery services in Vermont
Parenting Tools For The Tough Stuff
We partner with families, professionals and other organizations to end addiction in this country
A free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders
Truth Initiative is America’s largest nonprofit public health organization committed to making tobacco use and nicotine addiction a thing of the past
The trusted source for science-based information on teen drug use and its effects
LOCAL RESOURCES AND PARTNERS:
Lamoille Restorative Center (LRC) has multiple programs that prevent delinquency and help young people transition successfully to adulthood. Case managers work with individuals and in groups to assist youth with job coaching, housing support, and important life skills. Children (and their families) struggling with truancy are also provided case management support to overcome barriers to school attendance.
North Central Vermont Recovery Center is a safe, welcoming, substance-free environment for individuals and families on their paths to lasting recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
COALITION INVOLVEMENT OPPORTUNITIES:
HLV COALITION MEETINGS – 1ST TUESDAYS | 6-7PM – Share information and work to reduce youth substance misuse
HLV PARENT/CAREGIVER WORKGROUP – 4TH WEDNESDAYS | 7-8PM – Work with other parents/Caregivers to reduce youth substance misuse
LAMOILLE AREA YOUTH COUNCIL – An opportunity for 6th-12th grade students to engage in projects aimed at reducing youth substance misuse and promoting healthy choices. email email@example.com for more info or check out their website here!
TOBACCO TASKFORCE – PERIODIC MEETINGS AND LISTSERV – Identify goals & action items to reduce tobacco use, smoking and vaping
LAMOILLE AREA COACHING COLLABORATIVE – 2ND TUES 1 & 4TH FRIDAY 12-1PM – Support local coaches in being “protective factors” for our youth families and communities
TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ANY OF THESE OPPORTUNITIES PLEASE EMAIL:
JESSICA BICKFORD, COORDINATOR | JESSICA@HEALTHYLAMOILLEVALLEY.ORG
Facebook: Healthy Lamoille Valley | Twitter @HealthyLamoille
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VAPING QUIT HELP
LOCAL HELP: We recommend that you contact your local medical provider. If you need one, check with:
802Quits (Vermont’s Quit Resource) 1-800-QUIT-NOW
THIS IS QUITTING (Text-based for teens)Text DITCHVAPE TO 88709
BECOME AN EX (CUSTOMIZED QUIT PLANS & TEXTS FOR ADULTS)
MY LIFE, MY QUIT™ TEXT ‘START MY QUIT’ TO 36072
QUITSTART APP TEXT QUIT TO 47848
Comprehensive Substance Prevention Education
Substance use among youth is influenced at the individual, peer, family, school, community, and societal levels. School communities increase the likelihood of positive outcomes when multiple levels of influence are addressed using evidence-based prevention programs and practices. To promote a safe and healthy school environment, substance abuse prevention and early intervention work best when they are robust and integrated into the school’s whole approach (e.g., Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model).
Recommendations for school-based substance abuse prevention include the following elements:
Safe and Healthy School Environment
- Create an environment that helps students explore their talents and follow their passions, whether academic, musical, sports, or social or community causes.
- Help ensure that school colleagues, families and communities support and reward an adolescent’s decision not misuse substances.
- Provide students opportunities for validation and belonging.
- Provide and promote multiple venues where adolescents can get together with their friends.
- Increase positive outcomes for adolescents by being a mentor, a valued teacher, or other caring adult.
Health and Early Intervention Services
- Work with the community to ensure that the necessary infrastructure is in place so students in need of services and treatment can be referred to appropriate personnel or health care providers.
- Ensure that school nurses are trained to recognize substance-related problems, to intervene appropriately when problems are found, and to be familiar with the referral network.
- Identify and refer students using substances for appropriate interventions.
- Recognize that children who mature earlier or later than the majority of their peers may be at increased risk.
- Recognize that significant social transitions may increase the likelihood of substance misuse
- Establish and enforce consistent policies against substance use on school property and at school events.
- Included in these policies are recommended procedures for education; referral for treatment, counseling and rehabilitation; and standards consistent with restorative practices, due process of law for discipline, suspension or dismissal of students.
Parent Outreach and Community Engagement
- Engage parents and provide information on the school’s programs, substance misuse policy, family education resources, health services, and referral system
- Provide information to parents on the consequences of underage substance misuse and local sources for more information
- Partner with your local substance prevention coalition (Healthy Lamoille Valley!)
Classroom-based Health Education
- Focus on skill development for preventing the use of harmful substances.
- Provide students with the developmentally appropriate knowledge, skills, and motivation to resist peer and other pressures to use substances
The Roles of Each School Staff Member
- Be an advocate for your school’s needs
- Provide ongoing education to faculty and staff
- Embrace prevention education and model this for your teachers and staff. Your passion will help set the tone for the school
- Educate and provide resources to parents
- Promote a substance-free workplace
- Enforce strong policies
- Take professional development courses on prevention
- Establish a relationship with local prevention coalition
- See this guide for more details
- Recognize the signs of substance misuse
- Understand adolescent development
- Talk with students
- Be a caring adult
- Positive role modeling – try to be conscious of the language they use or the stories they tell in front of students so as not to unintentionally send the wrong message
Health Education and Classroom Teacher
- Be an advocate for your students’ needs. If they are in need of social/emotional skills, for example, request programming that supports it.
- Educate and provide resources to parents
- Positive role modeling (see support staff)
- Implement prevention programming with fidelity
that fits the culture and needs of the school
- Know the signs of mental illness and substance-use and where to
report them. Don’t be afraid to have hard conversations
School Nurse, Counselor or SAP
- Be an advocate for your students’ needs.
- Educate yourself on substances, new products and trends of substance misuse
- Educate youth on the risks of substances
- Establish youth tobacco cessation programming in school
- Help youth quit
- See this guide for more details
For more information, check out the following guides:
Calendar of Events
Substance and Mental Health Awareness Events 2021-2022
- National Suicide Prevention Week (Sept. 5-11)
- World Suicide Prevention Day (Sept. 10)
- Family Health and Fitness Day (Sept. 25)
- Health Literacy Month
- Healthy Lung Month
- National Bullying Prevention Month
- Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 3-9)
- National Depression Screening Day (Oct. 7)
- World Mental Health Day (Oct. 10)
- Lights on Afterschool (Oct. 28)
- National Health Education Week (Oct. 18-22)
- Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 23-31)
- DEA Take Back Day (TBD)
- Lung Cancer Awareness Month
- World Kindness Day (Nov. 13)
- Great American Smokeout (Nov. 18)
- International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day (Nov. 20)
- National Nutrition Month
- National Sleep Awareness Week (March 14-20)
- Brain Awareness Week (March 14-20)
- Alcohol Awareness Month
- National Minority Health Month
- National Public Health Week (April 4-10)
- World Health Day (April 7)
- National Alcohol Screening Day (April 7)
- Parental Alienation Day (April 25)
- DEA Take Back Day (April 27)
- Mental Health Month
- Women’s Health Month
- National Physical Fitness and Sports Month
- Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week
- National Prevention Week
- World No Tobacco Day (May 31)
Healthy Lamoille Valley Events
- Coalition Meeting – Tuesday, October 5th, 6-7 PM
- Coalition Meeting – Tuesday, November 2nd, 6-7 PM
- Coalition Meeting – Tuesday, December 7th, 6-7 PM
Substance Prevention Curricula
Information From Vermont Agency of Education
*Everything with an asterisk has been added by Healthy Lamoille Valley
Below are some universal programs: these are intended for any student and cover the full gamut of substance use information along with (usually) a great deal of social-emotional skills and other health information and skills which are related to and help with prevention of substance use. They typically cover a wide range of grades.
∙ Ask, Listen, Learn*— FREE digital underage drinking prevention program for kids ages 9-13 (grades 4-7) and their parents and educators
∙ LST Galaxia* — an engaging and interactive educational game designed to prevent bullying, cyberbullying, substance use, and violence among middle school youth
∙ Good Behavior Game — elementary grades
∙ PROSPER — multi-age/school and family—combines Life Skills, Strengthening Families and Lions Quest. UVM Extension can help you implement this.
∙ Too Good for Drugs (deemed promising/potentially effective)—K-12
∙ Heads Up (Scholastic)*— Resources for students. Real news about drugs and your body
∙ CHOICE* — voluntary, five-session group MI (motivational interviewing) program developed for middle school youth that takes place after school
∙ Free Talk* — a six-session group MI intervention developed for at-risk youth with a first-time alcohol or drug offense
∙ Prevention Plus Wellness Programs* — Single session evidence-based substance use prevention programs
Below are a few programs that you may find useful which are geared more toward social emotional learning and may have a family component or may be implemented outside of school time.
∙ TimeWise* — Grades 6-9. TimeWise helps prevent substance use by reducing risks and boredom associated with unstructured free time. Contact Alison at Alison@healthylamoillevalley.org for more information.
∙ Positive Action — School-wide social-emotional learning, all ages
∙ Guiding Good Choices — Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase
∙ Raising Healthy Children — all grades; social-emotional skills
∙ Coping Power — late elementary/middle school—social-emotional learning ∙ Second Step—Pre-K-8; social-emotional learning
∙ Al’s Pals* — a comprehensive social–emotional learning curriculum designed for the specific needs of preschool children
The following are modules or programs which are specific to certain substances and which may be helpful as supplements to your existing programs (but which do not contain a full scope and sequence of substance use prevention).
They are all FREE.
∙ National Institute on Drug Abuse — Lesson plans, searchable for different topics
Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)/ “vaping”/JUUL:
∙ Scholastic activity intended for grades 9-12
∙ “The Real Cost of Vaping” An activity for grades 9-12
∙ Vaping: Know the truth* — In addition to encouraging students to live vape-free lives, this self-led interactive-curriculum offers resources to help young people who are currently using e-cigarettes to quit through truth’s first-of-its-kind text message youth quit vaping program called This is Quitting
Prescription Drug Safety
Other Places to Find Evidence-Based Curricula
– Check out Healthy Lamoille Valley’s Google Drive Folder with Additional Resources –
Please contact Beth Keister at email@example.com if you need support identifying or evaluating materials or if you just want to share information. Feedback and comments on the content and implementation of these programs is welcomed so that this information can be shared with others to save them time and to improve their experiences.
For more information on the process of determining levels of evidence, see these infographics for definitions of “evidence-based” per the Every Student Succeeds Act guidelines.
Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT)
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Click on the picture for more information
The Health Education Curriculum Analysis Tool (HECAT) is an assessment tool to help school districts, schools, educators, and others conduct a clear, complete, and consistent analysis of health education curricula based on the National Health Education Standards and CDC’s Characteristics of an Effective Health Education Curriculum.
Substance Prevention and Substance Addiction Awareness Booklist
In the Air by Sarah Johnson & Russ Cox-
A graphic medicine built to foster conversations with and among young people around vaping, choices about substance use, and social factors. This graphic novel-styled story of five teens going through high school incorporates behavioral science of substance misuse prevention with the stories, interest, and ideas of members of the Tobacco Free Rhode Island Youth Ambassadors. The novel has questions to help guide the discussion, a strong research base, and roots in risk and protective factors.
We can provide free hard copies of In The Air. email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Hey, Kiddo is a profoundly important memoir about growing up in a family grappling with addiction, and finding the art that helps you survive.
The following titles are young adult books that middle and high school teachers can use as a basis for strong, authentic classroom conversations about drugs and alcohol. These are stories about realistic, complex characters who are facing risks, tough decisions and the influence of their peers—stories that will spark discussions about the development and vulnerability of the teen brain and subsequent risk-taking behavior, the influence an environment can have on the choices a person makes, and more. Don’t have room in your curriculum for new books? Try choosing one to read with your advisory group or home room or with an after-school reading group.
Kids who live with — or have been separated from — alcoholic or drug-addicted adults have lots to deal with in addition to all the other hard stuff that comes with growing up. Feelings of loss, grief, anger, isolation, and shame crowd in on school experiences, relationships, and even their sense of self. Reading about characters who are dealing with loved ones’ abuse of alcohol, opioids, or other substances — or about teens who are struggling with addiction — can help kids deal with complex family dynamics and keep hope alive
When a child grows up in a home where a parent or other loved one has a substance use disorder, they often feel confused and frightened. Their home life may be chaotic and unpredictable. They may hear arguing, crying, or yelling and have no understanding of why it is happening. Some children draw the conclusion that they are the cause of the problems. Others become withdrawn, act out, or become aggressive. These 20 children’s books about addiction can help parents explain substance use disorders in an age-appropriate way.
Opportunities to Provide for Students
Create a Substance Prevention Committee at your school or in your school district that includes a diverse group of students. Making sure any endeavors your school undertakes is youth-driven and/or youth-informed.
GETTING TO ‘Y’- is an opportunity for students to bring meaning to their own Youth Risk Behavior Survey data. Through youth leadership, partnerships with adults, participatory action research, and peer and community engagement, participants not only experience personal growth and build their capacity for future civic engagement, but also effect sustainable change in youth behavior, community and school culture.
Our Voices Xposed / Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (OVX/VKAT) – The OVX (high school) and VKAT (middle school) groups engage and empower youth ages 10 to 18. Through youth leadership opportunities, they educate students, community members, and decision makers on the tactics used by the tobacco industry, encourage healthy choices among peers, and work to reduce tobacco use and change social norms. OVX and VKAT also work with the Vermont Department of Health on media and counter-tobacco marketing campaigns. Contact Brian – email@example.com – if you are interest in starting a group at your school.
Lamoille Area Youth Council – An opportunity for 6th-12th grade students in the Lamoille Valley region (all of Lamoille County, plus the Greater Hardwick Area (Hardwick, Craftsbury, Greensboro, Stannard, and Woodbury) to engage in projects aimed at reducing youth substance misuse and promoting healthy choices. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or check out their website here!
Substance Refusal Skills Workshop for Middle Schoolers (Ideal for 5th/6th graders) Middle schoolers are in a pivotal transition and are beginning to enter a phase in their lives where they may be offered substances. In this workshop, students will learn the statistics related to local youth substance misuse, identify motivations for substance use and alternative choices, reflect on reasons to be substance-free, and practice refusal skills for scenarios where they may be offered substances. This workshop can be delivered by Brian, Healthy Lamoille Valley’s Youth Substance Prevention Coordinator, or can be implemented by an school educator. Contact Brian (email@example.com) for more details.
Other Opportunities – The Healthy Lamoille Valley team is happy to brainstorm other ways to include prevention in third space student interactions such as afterschool clubs, theater, music, arts, sports, etc.
Make sure that your action plan is:
Youth-informed and/or youth-driven
Collaborative with the school community and community at large
Inclusive of all populations
Integrated into the school’s whole approach