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Schools & Child Care

Substance Use Resources for Secondary Educators

Problematic substance use refers to the harmful use of any substance, such as alcohol or cannabis, an illicit drug, an over-the-counter drug, or a prescribed drug. Youth identify that they use drugs and alcohol for the same reasons that adults do: to enhance their social experience, and to cope with stress and mental health issues.

Educating students on why they should delay the onset of substance use is imperative for the developing teen brain. The teen brain continues to be ‘rewired’ and as a result is more vulnerable to the negative effects of drugs and alcohol. Teenagers are more likely to act impulsively and on instinct when faced with stressful or emotional decisions sometimes resulting in risky behaviour. Teens may not fully appreciate the immediate consequences of their actions. Educators play a key role in healthy student development.

For stats and details on Ontario Student Drug Use – Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS).

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