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The Top 5 Actions Schools Can Take to Help Prevent and Reduce Youth Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Use

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This document presents the top five actions schools should take to prevent and reduce alcohol and drug use. The material was derived from Collective Action, Collective Impact New Hampshire’s Strategy for Reducing the Misuse of Alcohol and Other Drugs and Promoting Recovery.

The state’s strategy was developed by the New Hampshire Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention, Treatment and Recovery, established in 2000. The Commission reviewed federal, state and local recommendations; considered state level data; gathered community input; and held a leadership summit to inform a strategy for the next five years to impact alcohol and other drug misuse more effectively.

As identified in the state plan, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools provide critical opportunities to assess, and promote behavioral health. Schools serve a majority of youth and their families. Schools provide positive adult mentors and health services for students, and they provide a system of education that can include substance misuse prevention education. Furthermore, a school’s policies and procedures, codes of conduct, and other structures can help to support alcohol and drug-free choices, to identify students at high risk, and to assist youth and families in accessing appropriate services. (JSI, 2015.)

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