Preventing Drug Abuse to Prevent Dropouts

Even though National Substance Abuse Prevention Month has ended, it doesn’t mean our dedication to reducing the number of Americans hurt by alcohol and drug abuse has ended as well. At the Department of Education (ED), encouraging safe and healthy environments for students is a year-round effort.

Recently, ED brought together researchers, policy experts, as well as White House officials to discuss new research on the role drug use plays in America’s dropout crisis.

The new report found that researchers and educators who study adolescent substance abuse often recognize the link between substance use and academic failure, but that the link is rarely acknowledged among state and federal policy makers. The briefing at ED’s headquarters was a step to correct this problem.

The briefing also touched upon the White House’s national strategy to combat illicit drug use, and the important role schools play in local drug-free community coalitions.

David Esquith, director of ED’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students noted that parents, teachers and school counselors “are a first line of defense in prevention,” and that ED has created resources to assist in prevention. He explained that the Department also provides technical assistance for colleges and schools in helping them engage with students in preventing drug use.

You can watch the entire event here, and check out the resources below.

Norris Dickard is Healthy Students Group Leader in ED’s Office of Safe and Healthy Students