Substance Abuse

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Substance abuse encompasses a harmful pattern of use of alcohol, tobacco products, and illegal 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 illegal drugs undermines students’ ability to achieve success academically. Substance abuse is associated with other harmful behaviors, and is incompatible with a school climate of respect, safety, and support for learning.

Featured Resources

youth risk behavior survey

Provides an overview of the most recent data on health behaviors and experiences among high school students in the United States. Some of the key trends presented on adolescent health and well being include: sexual behaviors, substance use, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, mental health, and school connectedness.

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. The 2021 edition of the Report on Indicators of School Crime and Safety is the 24th in a series of annual publications. Beginning with the 2020 edition, this report has been redesigned with the intention of increasing its usability for a wider audience. This report does so by highlighting selected findings from 23 indicators on various school crime and safety topics.

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 drug paraphernalia.

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

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.


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 blood droplet.

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

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.

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 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.

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.

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 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 scientific jar.

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

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 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 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.

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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.

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