Teach Values that Prevent Drug Use

  • Posted on: 20 February 2014
  • By: Tina McCoy

School systems can't be complacent when it comes to helping students choose a healthy and productive lifestyle, but effective drug and violence prevention programs are often a low priority in our high schools. While the primary mission of schools is to promote academic progress, students must be safe and healthy before they can excel academically. A holistic approach to education is needed to ensure that all students are prepared to thrive in school and meet with success as adults. However, it is difficult for educators to 'fit everything in'. 

One evidence-based approach that can positively influence the knowledge, attitudes and values of high school students is the program Too Good For Drugs and Violence, which has been used in all types of school settings across the United States. This program consists of 14 core lessons (60 minutes each) and 12 supplemental lessons designed to be infused into the curriculum of other courses.  Too Good for Drugs and Violence is school-based, but includes community and parent components as well. Instructional materials corresponding to all lessons are included in the TGFD & V program, and training resources are readily available. Given the design and materials, implementing this program can be realistic and manageable for any school system 

The value of high academic outcomes is diminished if students don't benefit from a well-devised and implemented character education program.  Rather than using a 'hit or miss' approach to drug and violence prevention, secondary schools would do well to consider adopting a research-based program with an evidence base illustrating significant positive influences on students' values, attitude and knowledge.  Too Good for Drugs and Violence is one such program. For more information on this program contact www.mendezfoundation.org. Alternatively, go to the What Works Clearinghouse at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/interventionreport.aspx?sid=516.