Student Substance Use: an Information, Prevention, and Intervention Guide for Middle School and High School Counselors

Substance abuse is one of this country‘s most devastating public health problems. In order to reduce its pervasive effects, it is important to focus upon where most addiction problems beginÔæóadolescence. While the majority of substance use prevention and intervention efforts take place in the schools, the professional school counselors who may be in the best position to help students may not always have thorough knowledge in these areas. Substance abuse education is not part of a school counselor‘s formal training. While certainly not meant to take the place of such training, this paper is meant to serve as an introductory primer for school counselors. It begins with a detailed picture of current use trends, follows with a summary of various prevention approaches as well as details of how school personnel can implement a comprehensive prevention program within their schools. Finally, school-based interventions for students with moderate substance use are discussed with particular emphasis on brief interventions that utilize motivational enhancement therapy (MET). The position taken throughout is that school counselors have a professional obligation to become leaders in their schools‘ prevention and intervention programs as part of their continued goal to serve all students.

Susan Kinney Olsen
Year Completed: 
Number of Pages: 
PDF icon Susan_Olsen_MP 2010.pdf178.6 KB