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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Promoting an alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD)-free lifestyle is as rewarding as it is challenging. Upper elementary is an opportune time for students to build on what was introduced in second grade by learning more advanced competencies and applying behavior-based skills including responsible decision-making. Providing a solid foundational knowledge of ATOD and practical skills for preventing ATOD usage may lead to a lifetime of positive practices. ​

The Orange County Department of Education does not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness or completeness of this outside information. Further, the inclusion of links to particular items in hypertext are not intended to reflect their importance, nor is it intended to endorse any views expressed or products or services offered on these outside sites, or the organizations sponsoring the sites.​​​​

Information and Resources

TUPE - Tobacco Use Prevention Education

In collaboration with the California Department of Education, the Orange County Department of Education's TUPE Capacity Building Project has developed this website to support effective TUPE program implementation and share tobacco prevention information and resources across California.​

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA provides data, information, and resources on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, and mental health.​​

Curriculum and Lessons

NIH’s National Institute for Abuse (NIA) Brain Power!

Brain Power! is designed to take students through a step-by-step exploration of the processes of science. Students will learn about scientists and the different work they do, the brain, the nervous system, and the effects of dr​ugs on the nervous system and the body. ​

CATCH My Breath

CATCH My Breath is an evidence-based youth e-cigarette, JUUL, and vape prevention program specific to grades 5-12 shown to substantially reduce students’ likelihood of vaping in the year following program implementation. ​

The Real Cost of Vaping

The Real Cost of Vaping provides grades 6-12 lessons on teen vaping prevention. With these cross-curricular resources from Scholastic and the FDA, students will analyze informational text, collect and present data, and evaluate marketing messages.​

You and Me, Together Vape-Free - Stanford REACH Lab

The You and Me, Together Vape-Free curriculum includes a two-lesson elementary school version, approximately 50 minutes each. Every lesson provides activities, online quiz games, and worksheets in addition to presentations, resources, and other materials.

Smart Talk: Cannabis Prevention & Awareness Curriculum - Stanford REACH Lab

Smart Talk: Cannabis Prevention & Awareness Curriculum includes two lessons, each providing activities, online quiz games, and worksheets in addition to presentations, resources, and other materials aimed at addressing key factors associated with youth cannabis use.​

Generation Rx - Safe Medication Practices For Life

Prescription and over-the-counter medicines are typically accessible and visible in our homes, and children should understand prescription and over-the-counter medication safety at an early age. This is a collection of age-appropriate, engaging resources that educate children about m​edication safety principles. Some activities may be better suited for younger children (grades K-2), while others may be more appropriate for older students (grades 3-5).

Over-The-Counter Medicine Safety - Young Minds Inspired

The Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety program provides important foundational information to help equip children with knowledge about over-the-counter medicine safety and practices. These teaching units, designed for grades 5-6, explore all facets of the Drug Facts label and the importance of taking and storing OTC medicine safely. An emphasis is placed on always checking with an adult before taking any medication.

Mind Matters Series - National Institute on Drug Abuse

​Mind Matters invites young teens to take a scientific journey to learn about the brain’s complex responses to specific drugs, including cocaine, inhalants, K2/Spice and Bath Salts, marijuana, methamphetamine, nicotine, opioids, and prescription stimulants. ​The Mind Matters series is a valued resource for tens of thousands of teachers. Both English and Spanish booklets, as well as the accompanying Teacher’s Guide, are all available online in printable PDFs.

Kids Health: Health Problems Series - Drugs Lesson

Drugs are chemicals that change the way a person’s body works. Some are legal, like medicines prescribed by doctors or sold in stores. For adults, cigarettes and alcohol are legal drugs, too. But cigarettes and alcohol are illegal for kids and teens. It’s also illegal ― and dangerous ― for kids to abuse medicines or use drugs like marijuana or cocaine. These activities will help your students understand how drugs can hurt their bodies. They’ll also help kids learn how to deal with peer pressure and live a drug-free lifestyle. Grades 3-5.​

Book List

Grade 4 - 6

Classroom Activities

  • Students can practice responsible decision-making and refusal skills using role-playing. 
  • Students learn about the dangers of secondhand and third-hand smoke by creating a photo collage illustrating the impact and exposures of secondhand and third-hand smoke. 
  • Students can research California smoking policies and secondhand smoke laws.  ​


​Partnering with the Family​​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • Students in all grades place their handprint or signature on a large mural poster titled, We are making a pledge to be an ATOD free school.
  • Students encourage others to be free of alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs by promoting a healthy lifestyle that encourages wellness such as physical activity, healthy eating, and mental and social wellbeing including being kind to oneself and others. 
  • Students create a school social media campaign and or organize activities during Red Ribbon Week to outreach and promote these concepts. ​

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • ​A local drug counselor or drug prevention agency can speak to students about the importance of an ATOD free life. 
  • Nonprofit organizations such as the American Lung Association or American Cancer Society can provide speakers and materials on the dangers of smoking and the importance of a tobacco- free life. 
  • Using a mapping technology program, students map the local healthy areas that promote or support an ATOD-free lifestyle, such as youth recreation centers, after school programs, and parks and nature areas. ​
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