New Resources Help Educators Talk About Substance Use Issues

Educators are uniquely positioned to influence students’ health and well-being. When talking about substance use, the conversations can be difficult, and not all educators feel comfortable or ready to have them.

The Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction is pleased to share a new set of resources designed for educators to learn about substance use and feel more comfortable talking about it with young people.

Understanding Substance Use: Educators Guide and the accompanying five video modules are designed for education professionals (e.g., teachers, guidance counsellors, coaches, social workers) working with youth from grades 6–12 to gain key knowledge, tools and resources on the following topics:

  • Understanding Substance Use
  • Understanding Stigma
  • Understanding Cannabis Vaping
  • Understanding Alcohol
  • Understanding Impaired Driving

Using these resources can help educator’s gain the knowledge and confidence to start and navigate these difficult conversations.

This first education module explains the spectrum of substance use, problematic substance use and substance use disorder; strategies for reducing harm and how to build resilience. The module also explores the connections between brain development, adverse childhood experiences and substance use.

This second education module covers what stigma is and how to recognize substance use stigma. It explains the different types of stigma and how stigma can affect people seeking and accessing care. The module also explores why words matter and strategies educators can use to reduce stigma.

This third education module covers cannabis and vaping among youth in Canada, cannabis vaping products, the harms and risks associated with vaping cannabis, and strategies you can use to reduce the risks for youth who vape cannabis.

This fourth education module examines what alcohol is and how it affects individuals. It also explores different alcohol products, the health risks and harms associated with drinking alcohol, and ways to reduce risk.

This fifth education module focuses on impaired driving in Canada. It explains how substances affect driving performance as well as the risks and consequences of driving while impaired. The module also covers the legal penalties for impaired driving and how you and other youth allies can support youth to lower their potential risks.

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