Substance Use and Prevention

Education about substance use is essential to help students develop the necessary skills and knowledge to make healthier choices. Successful substance misuse prevention education for young people provides age-appropriate, factual and non-judgmental information and helps students develop social competence, relationship and communication skills.

If you are looking for tips on how to address certain issues or topics, reach out to the school health team using our request form.

Substance/Vaping/Tobacco | Elementary and Secondary

  • Consider the Consequences of Vaping is a self-led module from Health Canada that aims to provide youth aged 13-18 with information about vaping to help them make informed decisions about their health. It also helps and supports educators in engaging with youth on the issue. The module includes activities, videos and content on the risks and harms of youth vaping, the effects of nicotine and cannabis use during adolescence, legislation and regulations in Canada, the cost of vaping and tips to deal with peer pressure.
  • iMinds is a health literacy resource for grades 4 to 12. This free health education resource aims to help students maximize their drug literacy, by building knowledge and skills needed to survive and thrive in a world where drug use is common. This resource has been designed by the Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research to support BC Ministry of Education curricula, but is adaptable and available for use in Canadian schools.
  • Not an Experiment is a website that provides youth and educators with information about the health effects of vaping, industry influences, and more. Educator resources for lessons and classroom activities, including an Escape Room game are available.
  • Ophea (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association) provides a variety of lesson plans and resources on substance use, addictions and related behaviours, specifically:
    • Vaping Education Resources (grades 4-8) provide educators with capacity building tools and conversation starter prompts to support students in developing the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions to support their health and well-being. Resources include Instructional Moments videos and Educator Guide, Conversation Starter videos, and tip sheets.
    • Cannabis Education Resources (grade 1-12) provide educators and administrators access to evidence-informed information on substance use (specifically cannabis) to help students develop the knowledge and skills needed to make informed decisions to support their health and well-being.  Resources include Cannabis Education Activity Plans for elementary and secondary students, a Q&A column series, and a resource database.
  • Students Together Moving to Reduce Tobacco Use (STOMP) is a multi-year pilot project (2021-2024) that takes a comprehensive approach to curb commercial tobacco use by targeting the student population and its unique characteristics, norms and needs directly. It offers downloadable student and school resources including the complete STOMP toolkit, a student-centred learning toolkit, and posters.
  • Tobacco Prevention Toolkit from Stanford University contains theory-based and evidence-informed resources created by educators, parents and researchers aimed at preventing middle and high school students' use of tobacco and nicotine. It includes modules and resources for vaping as well as commercial tobacco projects.
  • Quash is a free certificate training (self-guided, online) that equips adults to deliver the Quash smoking and vaping cessation program to youth in their communities.