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School

Children spend about one third of their awake time in school. It is also where they spend the most time with their peers who influence their behaviors around health, tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. Schools play a large role in reinforcing healthy behaviors and can help to prevent and reduce tobacco and substance use by creating environments that support healthy development.

Recreation, Athletes and Schools

Coaches are powerful role models for youth with the opportunity to influence their players’ habits around health, sportsmanship, and personal responsibility. School athletic policies that send strong, clear, and consistent tobacco and substance-free messages can prevent youth from experimenting with tobacco and alcohol.

Coaches can discuss the health effects of tobacco and substance use, as well as their impact on sports performance:

Reduces lung function and ability to run
Puts added strain on the heart
Increases asthma symptoms
Chewing tobacco is not a safe alternative to smoking
Causes dehydration
Affects muscle growth and development

Implementing School Policies

Maine law prohibits smoking, alcohol, and drug use in elementary and secondary schools. Schools should also establish and implement comprehensive wellness policies that guide efforts and goals to eliminate tobacco, drug, and alcohol use, as well as create environments that promote health and wellbeing.

A schools role in reducing youth tobacco and substance use

  1. Forbid tobacco, alcohol, and drug use by students, staff, and visitors on all school grounds and at all school sponsored events
  2. Provide comprehensive tobacco, alcohol, and drug prevention education programs
  3. Provide program specific training for teachers
  4. Involve parents and families in school efforts to prevent tobacco and substance
  5. Offer prevention projects and activities for students
  6. Help students and staff who are using tobacco to quit
  7. Adopt a firm school policy of not accepting any funding, curricula, or other materials from tobacco companies
  8. Evaluate the school’s prevention programs at regular intervals

School-Based Programs

Effective school health programs are carefully planned and systematically implemented, focusing on reducing tobacco, underage drinking, and drug use. Educators can teach health information, general life skills, and drug-resistance skills through programs that help students lead happy, healthy lives.

Maine School-Based Prevention Programs

Caring School Community

Focus: Promoting positive youth development

Too Good for Drugs

Focus: Building resilience by teaching socially competency and problem solving

Positive Action

Focus: Improving academic achievement, attendance, and addressing problem behaviors such as substance use, violence, suspensions, disruptive behaviors, dropping out, sexual behavior, and conflict.

Lion’s Quest Skills for Adolescents

Focus: Developing positive commitments and healthy, drug-free lives

Project ALERT

Focus: Prevent youth from experimenting with alcohol, tobacco and marijuana

Project Northland/Class Action

Focus: Delaying the onset of alcohol use and reducing use among youths who have already tried alcohol

LifeSkills Training

Focus: The social and psychological factors that promote tobacco, substance abuse, and violence

Too Good for Drugs

Focus: Building resilience by teaching socially competency and problem solving

Positive Action

Focus: Improving academic achievement, attendance, and addressing problem behaviors such as substance use, violence, suspensions, disruptive behaviors, dropping out, sexual behavior, and conflict.

LifeSkills Training

Focus: The social and psychological factors that promote tobacco, substance abuse, and violence

Real Talk About Smoking

Focus: Facilitating an open dialog with high school students to address concerns and pressures around tobacco-use. 

Project Towards No Drug Abuse

Focus: Developing self-control and communication skills to resist drug use

Too Good for Drugs

Focus: Building resilience by teaching socially competency and problem solving

Positive Action

Focus: Improving academic achievement, attendance, and addressing problem behaviors such as substance use, violence, suspensions, disruptive behaviors, dropping out, sexual behavior, and conflict.

SIRP

Student Intervention Reintegration Program (SIRP) is an education-based program for youth (age 13-18) experimenting with alcohol, marijuana, and other drugs. The 12-hour class focuses on the risks of use and helps participants weigh the advantages and disadvantages of continuing to use. It also includes parent and follow-up discussions to encourage success.

Teens, parents, teachers, administrators, probation officers, or community members can refer an individual. View upcoming classes and submit a referral.