Key Initiative: Substance Abuse Prevention

Substance Abuse Prevention: A Shasta County Board of Education Initiative to Reduce Substance Abuse Among Shasta County Students

The Shasta County Board of Education has launched an initiative focused on Substance Use Prevention Education to address the evolving drug landscape and its impact on our community. This topic was chosen due to the urgent need for comprehensive education in light of the rapid changes brought by the arrival of fentanyl and the mainstreaming of marijuana through legalization. Within our schools, we are witnessing the use of marijuana, alcohol, and vapes among middle and high school students. As educators, we recognize the importance of equipping students with the knowledge and skills to make informed decisions. Our mission extends beyond academic proficiency; we are dedicated to empowering students and parents with the resources necessary to confront the realities of substance use and lead healthy, fulfilling lives.

The initiative aims to fill the gap in our current educational system by delivering timely, age-appropriate substance use prevention education to students countywide, and increasing youth leadership opportunities. By equipping students with the knowledge and tools to make healthy decisions, the goal is to mitigate the serious consequences of drug experimentation for this generation. Recognizing the importance of collaboration, the initiative also seeks to engage parents and community members in the conversation, fostering awareness and providing resources to facilitate ongoing discussions about substance use within families. Given the pervasive impact of substance use on our community, it is imperative that we take collective action to address this issue and safeguard the well-being of our youth.


Photo of Jen answering student questions about vaping


Photo of Rocky Heron speaking to a large group of students


Photo of presentation.  One life.  One body.  One mind.  One heart.


Photo of Rocky Herron speaking with presentation on screen overhead


Resources for Parents and Community Members:

Tips on Talking to Your Kids - Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids: Mostly geared towards tobacco, but conversation topics can easily be tweaked to use for other substances.

Talk to Your Kids About Tobacco, Alcohol, and Drugs - Conversation tips, important statistics, and help for parents who have a teen who could be using.

Talking to Your Child About Drugs - More vocabulary with a different flavor than the first two.

Do's and Don'ts: Talking to Your Kids About Drugs - Get Smart About Drugs (.gov): A relatively short list of good Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind. Other good resources from this website:

“Talk. They Hear You.” Campaign - SAMHSA: PSAs and Resources for Parents/Guardians, Educators, and Community Partners

Children of Addicted Parents Guide: How to Deal With Addict Parents - American Addiction Centers: Statistics, suggestions, overcoming stigma, and connecting viewers to support.

One Pill Can Kill - Statistics on fentanyl and counterfeit pills.

If You Need Help:

211 Shasta: Links to substance use disorder support, education, and treatment (click on the "Addictions" category)