Effective substance abuse prevention is critical to ensuring the academic success of Oklahoma’s youth. Because children spend more than a quarter of their day at school, schools have a unique opportunity to deliver effective alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention programs. In doing so, they reinforce norms against substance use as well as give students peer refusal and other life skills.
Substance Abuse Prevention Research-Based Curriculum
The State Department of Education and the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services announced a partnership to offer AlcoholEdu free to all high schools in the state. AlcoholEdu for High School is a state-of-the-art online alcohol education course, nationally recognized for reducing underage drinking and its associated negative consequences. This course also has a component for parents and teachers to help them engage students in conversations about the detriments of underage drinking. Janet Barresi, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, is recommending the two-hour online course be taught to 9th graders in their science and health classes.
A list of research-based substance abuse prevention programs examined and approved by federal agencies has been provided in the Web site below.
Substance Abuse Prevention Curriculum
Looking for additional substance abuse prevention curriculum in your classroom? Check out the National Institute for Drug Abuse's free curriculum below:
Brain Power (Grades K-9)
The Brain: Understanding Neurobiology Through the Study of Addiction (Grades 9-12)
Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body (Grades 5-10)
Substance Abuse Prevention Resources
There are many reliable Web sites with substance abuse prevention information and resources. A list of helpful resources for parents, students, and staff has been provided in the Web site below.
Substance Abuse Prevention Resources
Substance Abuse Prevention Trainings
- The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics Education Group provides drug abuse awareness presentations to school children from Kindergarten to 12th grade, and programs to concerned Oklahoma citizens who want to be educated on drug abuse issues facing our state. Topics covered can include, but are not limited to, the consequences of drug use and abuse, the dangers of alcohol and tobacco, marijuana use, prescription drug abuse, date rape/club drug trends, and the continued methamphetamine problem. Presentations can be tailored to fit the needs and issues in your area. There is no cost associated with these programs; they are absolutely free!
- The Oklahoma Pharmacists Association with licensed pharmacists in the State of Oklahoma will conduct school presentations for 5th-9th grade students that include an education video on prescription drug abuse entitled "Road to Nowhere." This ten-minute video depicts the consequences a young person could face due to one bad decision - a decision to take drugs "just for fun." After viewing the video, students will be given an opportunity to ask questions of the pharmacist who will also present additional information about the dangers of abused prescription drugs. The entire presentation takes about 45 minutes and is offered at no charge to the school.
- Oklahoma Life of An Athlete is a free program for Oklahoma high schools offered through the Whitten-Newman Foundation and Fighting Addiction Through Education (F.A.T.E.) Oklahoma Life of An Athlete includes dynamic, interactive online training for your athletes about the impact of alcohol and other drugs on athletic performance. The program also includes live presentations and assistance on re-writing your athletic code, developing student leadership, and promoting coaching effectiveness and community support.
- Training and technical assistance is provided to schools across the state to help support school-based tobacco use prevention and cessation programs by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. School-based programs begin with creating and maintaining a tobacco-free atmosphere throughout the school system and continue with classroom education.
Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) is Oklahoma's youth movement to expose Big Tobacco's lies and deceptive practices. SWAT Teams around the state are becoming advocates for change in their local communities. The result is a healthier Oklahoma.
2 Much 2 Lose (2M2L) Clubs actively participate in the state’s underage drinking prevention initiative by doing local and statewide action-based activities. Youth leaders are given the tools to effectively combat underage drinking utilizing the environmental prevention model.
Oklahoma State Statutes Regarding Substance Abuse
Drug Abuse Education Act (70 1210.221) (pdf)
Oklahoma Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention and Life Skills Education Act (70-1210.229-1) (pdf)
Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act - Outside Link
Title 63. Public Health and Safety
Chapter 2 - Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act
Oklahoma Statutes Title 63, § 1-1523.
- Educational facilities serving grades K-12 may prohibit smoking, snuff, and chewing tobacco on the school grounds. Schools may designate smoking areas only for adults and must offer a nonsmoking area for school personnel for breaks, lunch, or similar activities.
- An educational facility which offers an early childhood education program or in which children in grades kindergarten through twelve are educated shall prohibit smoking, the use of snuff, chewing tobacco or any other form of tobacco product in the buildings and on the grounds of the facility by all persons including, but not limited to, full-time, part-time, and contract employees, during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., during the school session, or when class or any program established for students is in session.
- Career and technology centers may designate smoking areas outside of buildings, away from general traffic areas and completely out of sight of children under eighteen (18) years of age, for use by adults attending training courses, sessions, meetings or seminars.
- An educational facility may designate smoking areas outside the buildings for the use of adults during certain activities or functions, including, but not limited to, athletic contests.
Okla. Stat. Title 63, §2-401; 2-402.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I tell if my child is using drugs?
It is difficult to determine because changes in mood, attitudes, hobbies, or interests are common in teens. Although some of the signs may be an indicator for other problems, below is a list of common signs of drug use.
- Changes in friends.
- Negative changes in schoolwork, missing school, or discipline problems.
- Increased secrecy.
- Use of incense, air fresheners, or perfume to hide smoke odors.
- Conversational changes such as coded language or slurred speech.
- Change in clothing choices.
- Evidence of drug paraphernalia.
- Evidence of common inhalants, such as hairspray, nail polish, correction fluid, and air dusters.
- Bloodshot or dilated eyes.
- Missing prescription drugs.
- Empty cough and cold medication bottles.
How can I prevent my child from using drugs?
- Set rules. Let your child know alcohol and drug use are unacceptable. Enforce consequences when rules are broken.
- Know where your child is and what they will be doing during unsupervised times.
- Talk to your child. Tell your child why to say no before someone tells them why to say yes.
- Keep your child busy. Students involved in afterschool and adult supervised activities are less likely to use drugs.
- Educate yourself! Learn facts about commonly abused drugs and talk to your child about the harmful effects.
- Know your child's friends and their parents. Make sure they know your rules and standards.
- Be the parent, not the friend.
- Know where to go if you need additional assistance. There are many professionals and treatment specialists who can help.
Substance Abuse Statistics in Oklahoma
• Adolescents who use alcohol may remember 10% less of what they have learned than those who don’t drink.
• Lower reading and math scores are linked to peer substance abuse. On average, students whose peers avoided substance use had test scores that were 18 points higher for reading, and 45 points higher for math.
• If the challenges in students’ learning, such as the problems directly related to underage drinking, are not addressed, then our youth will not be able to maximize their academic potential.
For additional statistics, the web sites listed below include Superintendent-reported substance related incidents by each Oklahoma school district, Oklahoma Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) Data and Reports, and the Oklahoma Prevention Needs Assessment (OPNA) Survey Results.
Annual Incident Report Totals - Coming Soon
Oklahoma YRBS Data - Outside Link
OPNA Results - Outside Link
A research-based guide for parents, educators, and community leaders.
|Preventing Drug Abuse among Children and Adolescents (pdf)
A guide that focuses on six key things parents can do to help your child grow up drug free.
|Keeping Youth Drug-Free - Outside Link
A chart of commonly abused drugs with street names, how its administered, and health risks.
Drugs Chart (pdf)
Chart with pictures of abused pharmaceutical substances.
|Abused Pharmaceutical Substances Picture Chart (pdf)
Fact sheet designed to inform students, parents, educators, and mentors about the harmful effects of Dextromethorphan (DXM) cough and cold medication.
|Facts on DXM (pdf)
This is a toolkit to provide community advocates the necessary knowledge and skills to develop and implement evidence-based methamphetamine prevention programs, policies and practices.
|Oklahoma Methamphetamine Prevention Initiative (pdf)
Oklahoma state plan for tobacco use prevention and cessation.
|State Plan (pdf)
A pocket guide for alcohol screening and brief intervention for youth.
|Pocket Guide (pdf)
24/7 Tobacco-free school guide is to assist schools in establishing a 24/7 tobacco-free environment for students, staff, and visitors.
|Tobacco-Free Guide (pdf)
This is a free prevention resource guide for parents, students, and staff.
|Prevention Guide (pdf)
State Department of Education's checkout library with substance abuse prevention resources.
|Resource Library (pdf)
Thank you to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs for their assistance with this Web site.