Substance Abuse

Young Man Having Counselling Session

Substance abuse encompasses a harmful pattern of use of alcohol, tobacco products, and illicit drugs; this includes the presence of substance use and trade within school and campus environments and during school-related activities.

The use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illicit drugs undermines students’ ability to achieve academically, is associated with other harmful behaviors, and is incompatible with a school climate of respect, safety, and support for learning.


Featured Resources

Provides science-based information on teen drug use and its effects for teens, teachers, and parents.

Crossing guard walking students across street

Presents data on crime at school from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals, and the general population from an array of sources. Spotlights this year include a look at mental health services in public schools and school neighborhood problems.

Graphic of a medical document and pills.

Shares addictive facts about stimulants and how they can derail student improvement. Provides best efforts for prevention professionals, educators, health care providers, and others who come in contact with teens on a regular basis to consider.

Graphic of a cigarette with precautionary information for teens.

Provides strategies for living above the influence against the use of tobacco along with dangerous habits when using tobacco.

Graphic of pills with precautionary information for teens.

Informs prevention professionals, educators, health care providers, and others who come in contact with teens on a regular basis regarding how they can provide facts about sedatives. Describes short-and long-term effects, lists signs of use, and helps dispel common myths.

Graphic of needles with precautionary information for teens.

Outlines facts about steroids and what teens can do to learn preventative methods for short-and long-term effects of steroids.

Graphic of a vape with precautionary information for teens.

Highlights important e-cigarette use answers for teens who might be hesistant to ask others about. Also describes short and long-term effects of vaping. 

Graphic of a ziploc bag (cocaine) including precautionary information for teens.

Presents short-and long-term effects of cocaine use for teens. Emphasizes the importance of talking to parents, a doctor, a counselor, a teacher, or another adult if a student has questions about the deadly substance.

Graphic of psilocybin mushrooms with precautionary information for teens.

Provides facts about hallucinogens. Documents side effects including but not limited to suicidal thoughts, mixed senses, weight loss, speech problems, and disorganization. More for information, access this fact sheet.

Graphic of drug paraphernalia.

Lists facts about heroin. Stay up-to-date with this informative fact sheet and access sources for further intervention efforts.

Graphic of a blood droplet.

Includes information about how HIV is spread and suggests strategies to prevent transmission.

Graphic of a spray bottle including information on inhalants

Highlights dangerous results of inhalants and informs teens with steps they can take to rise above the influence of this harmful solvent or other material.

Graphic of marijuana with precautionary information for teens.

Presents evidence-based information in a fact sheet about marijuana and dispels common myths about its use for teens. 

Graphic of a scientific jar.

Delivers effects and signs of methamphetamine use. Common myths about methamphetamine are documented and dispelled. 

Technical assistance resources.

Includes a six-session training for identifying and implementing telehealth services from the DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)-HRSA Center for Integrated Health Solutions.

Photo of teens taking a selfie together.

Presents an initiative, developed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Discovery Education, that aims to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic by educating students about the science behind addiction and investigating how a public health epidemic impacts a community. This website houses all the materials associated with the initiative.

Front page of the consensus study report resource

Promotes recommendations for improving access to overdose treatment and first responder training programs. Also, reports practical and feasible steps toward reducing harm associated with opioids and increasing engagement and retention in lifesaving treatments.


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American Institutes for Research

U.S. Department of Education

The contents of the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments Web site were assembled under contracts from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Safe and Supportive Schools to the American Institutes for Research (AIR), Contract Number  91990021A0020.

This Web site is operated and maintained by AIR. The contents of this Web site do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the U.S. Department of Education nor do they imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education.

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