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​​​​​​​​Promoting an alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs (ATOD)-free lifestyle is as rewarding as it is challenging. Seventh and eighth grade is an opportune time for students to learn the benefits that can occur from responsible decision-making. For example, students can investigate the long-term healthcare costs of using ATOD and appreciate the cost savings of an ATOD-free lifestyle. Though it may seem like a time when peer, media, and social media influence, adventurous behaviors, and high-risk environments abound—positive influences and practices are also making a positive impact (Pew Research Center 2015, Wood 2007). Health education teachers play an important role in ATOD prevention education for students, but also as a significant role model. The complex issue of substance abuse prevention and substance use requires a comprehensive community approach, of which schools play a critical role in awareness and prevention efforts (CDC 2017a). ​

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.​

Stanford University - Research Into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising

Collection of tobacco advertising is intended to support scholarly research as well as to inform regulators and legislators about the promotional activities of the tobacco industry. ​

Truth Initiative

Provides the facts about smoking, vaping, nicotine and the tobacco industry, engage individuals and groups to make change in their communities, innovate ways to end nicotine addiction and join forces with collaborators committed to a future where tobacco and nicotine addiction are a thing of the past.​

Tobacco Free CA

Information and resources about smoking cessation and prevention in California.​​​​​​

Tips for Teens: The Truth About E-Cigarettes - Tips for Teens: The Truth About E-Cigarettes

This fact sheet for teens provides facts about vaping. It describes short- and long-term effects and lists signs of vaping. The fact sheet helps to dispel common myths about vaping. ​

Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC)

TTECC is a statewide technical assistance provider that supports the development and distribution of effective educational materials for California Department of Public Health, California Tobacco Control Program (CDPH/CTCP)-funded projects at no cost. ​

Operation Prevention - Discover • Connect • Prevent

The DEA has joined forces with Discovery Education to provide no-cost online tools that support every member of the community with the power of prevention. Help kickstart life-saving conversations today with standards-aligned English & Spanish-language resources for students in grades 3-12, plus additional resources designed for educators, families, and professionals. ​​

Let’s Talk Cannabis - California Department of Public Health (CDPH)

Let’s Talk Cannabis provides i​nformation, resources, and videos to help increase awareness about cannabis and how it affects our bodies, minds, and health.

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week

National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week® (NDAFW), an annual health observance week, connects teens with resources about drugs and alcohol.​

SAMHSA’s National Prevention Week in May

National Prevention Week (NPW) is a public education platform that promotes prevention year-round through providing ideas, capacity building, tools, and resources to help individuals and communities make substance use prevention happen every day. ​

Above the Influence

Above the Influence provides information​, resources and support for teens to analyze their influences and find facts and resources about drugs. ​

Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth - Johns Hopkins

The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) employs a public health approach to prevent and reduce alcohol-related problems among young people.​

California Friday Night Live

Friday Night Live builds partnerships for positive and healthy youth development which engage youth as active leaders and resources in their communities.​

Curriculum and Lessons

Stanford Tobacco Prevention Toolkit

The Tobacco Prevention Toolkit is a theory-based and evidence-informed educational resource created by educators and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of tobacco and nicotine products. ​

The Cannabis/Marijuana Awareness & Prevention Toolkit

The Cannabis/Marijuana Awareness & Prevention Toolkit is a theory-based and evidence-informed resource created by educators, parents, and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students’ use of cannabis/marijuana. ​

Project ALERT

The Project ALERT curriculum is a series of 14 lessons that​​motivate students against drug use, cultivates non-use attitudes and beliefs, and teaches skills and strategies to resist d​rugs. 

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. ​

Book List

Grade 7 - 8


​Partnering with the Family​​

  • Students can share health education information on ATOD obtained in class with their parents, guardians, and caretakers. 
  • Students can begin to dialogue with their parents, guardians, and caretakers on their views on ATOD and their rules or expectations for their child regarding ATOD. 
  • Students can discuss with parents, guardians, and caretakers cultural traditions that involve ATOD and at what age it is considered culturally appropriate for young people to participate in these traditions ​

​​Partnering with your School​​​

  • As part of your campus ATOD health campaign, ask the teacher librarian to acquire and showcase in the school library books that address ATOD among youth. ​
  • Encourage students to convene a discussion group or book club focused on health-related issues

​​Partnering with your Community​​

  • Encourage students to become familiar with local efforts to enforce tobacco and drinking laws regarding minors. 
  • Students can learn what local agencies, such as the county public health office and community-based organizations, do to serve those with ATOD issues in the community ​
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