Education Resources

The places where people live, work and go to school can greatly influence the health of community members.  Health care providers—working alongside residents, community coalitions, businesses and other leaders—can make their communities healthier by addressing substance use issues and advocating for strong prevention programs in their communities and schools.

What Can Education Professionals Do to Support Drug-Free Communities?

  • Get informed about the scope of the substance use problem in your community.

Educators are well aware of the problems that confront their communities, but may not be familiar with how alcohol and other drug use effects local residents. 

Click here to see statistics for youth in your school district

Substance Use & Its Impact on Academic Success

 Find statistics for adults in your region/community:

Information on risk behaviors in Vermont including alcohol, marijuana and prescription drug use from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance system.  Reported by each Health Department District Office region.

Substance Abuse Treatment data for all ages, gender, county & substances

Your local community coalition or Prevention Consultant can present to your school or organization about the substance use issues in the community. Link to Coalition Map

  • Support community efforts to prevent substance use and community activities that promote healthy behaviors – join your local community coalition or start one!  Link to Coalition Map
  • Utilize existing health promotion and prevention programs/parent outreach to educate youth and adults about the risks of drug abuse (including prescription misuse) and excessive drinking.

-  Some organizations include articles and notices in organization newsletters, on partner websites and in advertising.

  • Talk to students and their families about drug-taking behaviors, especially with those who show signs of being at risk for misusing or abusing drugs.
  • Turn your classroom or office into an area that promotes prevention and drug-free lifestyles.  Include information about your local community coalition and local parenting classes.   And avoid posting advertising, cartoons, etc. that promotes unhealthy behavior.
  • Help identify Rx drug abuse and help teens and their parents recognize any problems early on.  Consult with the Student Assistance Counselor or Guidance Counselor about students or families you are concerned about.
  • Monitor drug trends in your school and provide information on emerging drug trends (including changes in substance use patterns and substance-related overdoses) to your local community coalition.
  • Increase awareness on the proper storage and disposal of prescription medications.
  • Include discussion of substance abuse as a part of routine health care and as part of ongoing health education. The CRAFFT screen is a valid, reliable, and developmentally appropriate tool for accomplishing the recommended yearly screening, and teens who screen positive can be referred for comprehensive evaluation and treatment.
  • Share information about prevention with parents on a regular basis in newsletters, school website and social media.
  • Promote substance-free activities for students and families especially on high-risk holidays (for example New Years Eve, 4th of July and Halloween).  Some communities have extra law enforcement on patrol, host substance-free events as an alternative and request traffic stops/sobriety check points.
  • Adopt policies and programs to decrease the use of alcohol or other drugs on campuses.
  • Implement programs for reducing drug abuse and excessive alcohol use (e.g., student assistance programs, parent networking, or peer-to-peer support groups).
  • Offer training to staff and volunteers to assist in noticing and reporting substance use problems in schools.
  • Support local prevention efforts with financial, human, or in-kind resources.

An ounce of prevention is … a lot of work and the best prevention is early and evidence-based. 

Effective alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention programs: 

  • Conduct life skills training, including refusal and resistance skills, decision making, goal setting, assertiveness, bullying prevention, coping and communication;
  • Increase awareness about media and advertising influences, particularly regarding substance use and abuse; and
  • Avoid short-term interventions but employ multi-setting interventions, including school, family, media and community.

Click here for more information on evidence-based prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use.

School Prevention Resource List:

This 2015 report to the VT Legislature summarizes the elements of a school-based substance abuse prevention program, and Vermont’s school quality standards for health education related to this topic area.

School Connectedness: Strategies for Increasing Protective Factors  Among Youth

Strategies for school personnel and others to use in helping students' feel more connected to their school and promoting healthy behaviors.

vadic-logo.gifVADIC  provides communities with informational resources pertaining to substance abuse and at-risk issues. VADIC is a grant-funded program, and its services are free for Vermonters.    Request materials online or Toll-Free: 1 (800) 769-2798.

Find the latest science-based information about the health effects and consequences of drug abuse and addiction and resources for talking with kids about the impact of drug use on health.

Commonly Abused Drugs and their Health Risks

Drugs That People Abuse – easy to read

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) provides a wide variety of publications and resources to help with reducing the impact of substance abuse and mental illness.

Marijuana Abuse – Explores the latest research on marijuana, including the scope of marijuana use in the U.S., health consequences, its effects on every-day activities, available treatments.


Prevention Resources for Pre-school age students

Why is early childhood important to substance abuse prevention?  Principles of Substance Abuse Prevention for Early Childhood

Building Blocks for a Healthy Future is an early childhood substance abuse prevention program developed by SAMHSA to educate parents and caregivers about the basics of prevention to promote healthy lifestyles.

What to say to a 2-4 year old


Prevention Resources for Elementary age students

This website hosted by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) offers free resources for teachers

What to say to a 5-8 year old

What to say to a 9-12 year old


Prevention Resources for Middle School age students

Why Do Teens Act This Way?  A four-minute video on adolescent brain development

What to say to a 13-15 year old

Transitions: The first year of middle school.  Tips for guiding youth through middle school.