Framework in Action
Community Implements Evidence-Based Program to Reduce Substance Use in Youth

A community in California was concerned about the number of middle- and high-school students using alcohol and marijuana out of school. A sub-committee on substance abuse and behavioral health issues including administrators, staff, police, recreation workers, parents, and students began to examine and re-evaluate their substance abuse prevention programming in schools.  

The committee found that programming was not evidence-based and was only offered in high school health classes. They worked with principals, health education staff, parents, police, and youth to select an evidence-based program that covered late elementary school to high school, and trained all staff as well as parents, and some high school students to participate in implementation. The community also implemented social-norms programs to change student perception on substance abuse among peers.

In addition, students caught using substances were required to participate in a student assistance program with their parents and were directed to the appropriate services. Students without long-term use problems were asked to participate in a community service program and sometimes work as a peer educator in middle schools. 

Strategic Approach: