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PPE 310: Health Literacy in Schools

Signature Assignment Final Draft
Substance Abuse in Schools
Alicia Clynick and Damaris Gonzalez
Dr. Hesse
Spring 2016


Students transitioning from elementary school to middle school face many questions and uncertainty.
Juggling multiple teachers and remembering classroom numbers is simply the beginning of the middle school
worries. Young students experiencing middle school for the first time are also faced with many heavy social
issues. Peer pressure, bullying, and the desire to fit in intensify as students reach their teen years, and the weight
of their education becomes more apparent than in the past. As students face these drastic changes in their lives,
they turn to their friends and their social surroundings. Unfortunately, peer pressure is an aspect that can have a
strong impact on a young adolescents life as well.
Across the country adolescents in all different communities and cultures struggle with certain pressures
to experiment with illegal substances. The problem is, their innocent experimentation may lead to overall
negative consequences on their growing minds and general health. In the community of the Isaac School
District, many middle schoolers are considering drug use for the first time. While the families and friends of
these students hold responsibilities in encouraging them to avoid these situations, the school must also play a
part in motivating students to make healthy choices and say no. Students tend to spend more time in the
school setting during the week than at home or with family. Because of this, implementation of anti-drug
programs and peer pressure education are crucial in the school setting to make a lasting impact on students and
their choices throughout their development and lives.
Review of Current Literature
Substance abuse in adolescents: Implications for research and practice aims to identify the statistics of
adolescent substance abuse across the United States, as well as the rising reasons for use of such substances. As
adolescents experience peer pressure, bodily changes, and curiosity as they grow, they have a heightened chance
of trying cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs for the first time. The study in the article address how peer use, parental
emotional involvement, and parental monitoring tie into substance abuse for teens (Sharma, 2015).
Monitoring the future: National results on adolescent drug use outlines the most updated statistics on
substance abuse in pre-teens and adolescents. It breaks down usage by age, gender, race, and income level to


demonstrate how it changes throughout each category. In the article, approximately 46,000 students in 8th, 10th,
and 12th grade from 389 different schools were surveyed and studied to compile the statistics necessary to
conduct the study (Johnston, 2010). It also analyzes the number of adolescents using particular drugs now
compared to past decades, as well as predicting how many of these students will continue to abuse these
substances regularly and throughout adulthood.
In the study outlined in the article Effects of marijuana use on impulsivity and hostility in daily life, a
group of participants were gathered and observed through their use of alcohol, marijuana, and other illegal
substances. Through the investigation the researchers discovered that the use of marijuana increased
impulsivity, regardless of whether or not it was used regularly. It also increased hostile behaviors, and made
users expect hostile reactions in others (Ansall, 2015).
The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: 18-month follow-up of the
EU-Dap cluster randomized controlled trial analyzes how effective substance abuse education and prevention
curriculum is when implemented in a school system. The researchers used a comprehensive social influence
approach to teach substance abuse prevention and intertwined it within the curriculum of secondary education
schools. Over an 18-month period of time, the study showed that there were beneficial effects of both alcohol
and marijuana use among adolescents within the school. The number of students using the substances
decreased. The study also noted that while there was an improvement in drug and alcohol use, tobacco and
cigarette usage had no effect from the programs implemented within the schools (Fagianno, 2010).
Preventing drug abuse in schools: Social and competence enhancement approaches targeting
individual-level etiologic factors seeks to bridge the gap between what research identifies as successful
prevention methods and the programs schools implement. This article addresses early adolescence as the years
in which drug resistant skills are the most effective. When students are taught substance abuse prevention
tactics in social and individual contexts, evaluation tests found students to be successful in healthy behaviors all


through the last day of high school. However, this high success rate depended heavily on the teachers taking
into account individual level etiological factors (Botvin, 2000).
Multiple behavior interventions to prevent substance abuse and increase energy balance behaviors in
middle school students was a study created to test two different approaches to substance abuse prevention.
While both were computer-based with 3 in person meetings over the span of three years, only one approach was
explicitly related to alcohol and cigarette consumption. The first approach was a traditional program aimed at
decreasing alcohol and smoking behaviors in middle school students. The second approach focused on
increasing time for physical activity, fruit and vegetable consumption, and limiting tv time. Despite lacking
explicit prevention methods, the second control group showed significantly lower smoking and alcohol use over
time than the substance use prevention group (Translational behavioral medicine, 3(1), 82-93).
According to Prevention Science, peer led prevention programs are more effective in middle school aged
children. Lengthy prevention methods are not necessary when designing programs for children and middle
school students. While targeting the high risk population will yield stronger effects, the general population
should be involved to create longer lasting results (2003).
School Nutrition and Activity: Impacts on Well-Being analyzes various school programs such as
CATCH, Planet Health, and Not-On-Tobacco in an effort to minimize the negative health behaviors found in
our communities. The journal begins by educating the reader on the obesity epidemic and the crucial part
schools play in minimizing and preventing inactive lifestyles. Tracing physical education programs back to 19th
century Greece, the journal seeks to modernize physical activity curriculum by identifying the notable features
of CATCH, Planet Health, and Not-On-Tobacco and developing a curriculum to meet the needs of our students
and capitalize on the resources available to us by the government (2015).
The Journal of School Health focused a chapter in its book for strategies teachers can use to increase the
time of physical activity in their classrooms. After a three year study evaluating the effects of activity breaks in
classrooms, the journal states increasing physical activity benefits academic performance. The journal
concludes by stating teachers who were trained in implementing activity breaks, became proficient enough to


include them weekly without deducting from their instructional time. Support methods included time with an
instructional coach and reflection groups to guide improvement.

School Context
Morris K Udall is a Title I school that has 100% of its students on free lunch. 96% of the students
identify as Hispanic, and the dominant home language is Spanish. Many students speak in Spanish with their
family and peers, and English with academics. While websites state that the average class size is 19 students,
from personal observations most classes have 30-35 students per teacher, with five class periods of instruction
and one hour for prep.
Synthesis of Information
As students grow from children to adolescents, they begin to experience peer pressure, bodily changes,
and a heightened curiosity of their surroundings, notably the qualities and actions of their peers. The articles
reviews noted the negative consequences of drug use on the health of adolescents and acknowledged the
different factors that may increase a students likelihood of experimenting with substances for the first time.
Drug and alcohol dependence by Ansell observed the actions of individuals that used marijuana and
alcohol and discovered marijuanas ability to increase an individuals impulsivity, as well as hostile behaviors
and reactions towards others (2015). The use of marijuana, which is often incorrectly perceived as an innocent
drug, can alter the mental and emotional health of an adolescent. As students begin to use drugs, their behavior,
attitude, and overall social norms can be completely altered. Ansell identified marijuana consumption as also
distorting the personalities of peers. This can have a direct correlation with their education in the classroom.
Many behavioral management problems stem from peer interaction. Marijuana usage in middle school settings
can create unnecessary conflicts by distorting interactions and creating hostility. Students using illegal
substances also showed a decrease in their desire to complete school related work or participate in class. The
National Institute on Drug Abuse conducted a study in 2009 to monitor adolescent substance use nationwide.
With alcohol and marijuana in particular, the students showed a decrease in mental health and their ability to
focus in the classroom. Meanwhile, the same students showed an increase in depression and anxiety. Marijuana


users also demonstrated an increase in their dependence on opinion from peers, and worried more about what
their peers opinions were of them when compared to adolescents that did not use the substance (2009).
A variety of the studies implemented programs in the classroom and positive results always followed.
Avogrado University conducted a study to assess the effectiveness of implementing prevention programs in
curriculums. Students underwent a program in their school that covered drug, cigarette, and alcohol abuse. Over
the span of 18 months, use of alcohol and drugs decreased due to the substance abuse education (2010). In
2003, Prevention Science demonstrated that peer-led prevention programs proved to be the most effective with
middle school- aged students. Students look for acceptance from their peers and using student-led programs
instilled a positive ideology towards saying no to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco.
Overall, the research identifies substance abuse as negatively impacting the mental and emotional health
of students. Thankfully, Cornell Universitys Institute for Prevention Research addresses early adolescence as
the years in which drug resistant skills are the most effective and demonstrated the positive results of
implementing drug, tobacco, and drug abuse education programs within a school. Teaching substance abuse
tactics generated healthy behaviors until high school graduation (Botvin, 2000).There are numerous programs a
school can choose to include to their curriculum, depending on their needs and focus. In the program Not-OnTobacco, schools can set their education towards cigarette and tobacco prevention. The D.A.R.E. program
incorporates substance abuse education throughout the curriculum to not only educate students on the negative
impacts of drugs and alcohol on their bodies and health, but also provide methods to handle peer pressure.
While there are many different programs available, they are all geared towards ensuring adolescents receive
proper education on substance abuse and prevention methods.
Practical Implications
Upon analyzing the research and studies discussing substance abuse and its effects on the overall health
of adolescents, it was discovered that drugs and alcohol have a tremendous negative impact on the health of
students, notably in middle school and high school settings. Because of this, an implementation plan was
designed to address substance abuse and peer pressure education in the general classroom that corresponds with
the curriculum already set in place by the state and district.


Health and Wellness Committee

The process would need to begin by first addressing the idea of a health and wellness committee with
administration within the school. At the moment, Morris K Udall lacks a school wellness committee. While the
leadership and administrative team addresses academic and behavioral concerns and disciplinary actions, there
is currently no direct committee to discuss health or wellness head on. The school does have a police officer on
campus as appointed by the Phoenix Police Department that handles student possession and usage of drugs,
alcohol, and tobacco. However, there is no curriculum or instruction permitted to discuss the issue within the
classroom. By organizing a definitive committee made up of teachers and administration, health topics such as
substance abuse can be addressed, and the school can have those faculty members lead them in the
implementation of new plans and programs.
Proposals to Administration and Other Colleagues
When discussing the topic with the administrative team, research and information that supports the
implementation of drug abuse education within the curriculum will be presented, as well as personal examples
to demonstrate the need for such a program in our particular school. A staff committee would meet once a
month to discuss the needs and concerns of the students. The group should include administration
representatives, a staff member from each grade level and content area, and the on-campus police officer that
handles all problems with illegal substances.
Staff meetings will also be held as professional development during the year to update the staff on the
discussions and motions as made by the committee. The meetings will include information about what has been
discussed by the committee, an introduction to how curriculum maps can be adjusted to flow with what is
already in place with also adding in substance abuse education, and a sharing of ideas from programs or events
that can be implemented throughout the school year to address drug, tobacco, and alcohol abuse in the school
and community.
Implementation of Substance Abuse Programs
Once the committee meets together, they will discuss the problems our students face in relation to drugs
and alcohol abuse. They can also gather new ideas and proposals in the monthly Professional Development


meetings that address the committee and its plans for the school and community. The group will put together a
proposal for the initiation of the D.A.R.E. program within the curriculum to cover substance abuse and peer
pressure. The instruction can be implemented during homeroom class in the morning when first introduced. The
following semester or school year, the D.A.R.E. program will be can be fully immersed within the homeroom
and, eventually, the overall curriculum covered in the different content areas. Prior to implementation, staff will
be encouraged to attend the D.A.R.E. Conference held the summer prior to the new school year to develop
substance abuse education skills (See Appendix A). At the conference, lessons and activities that can be used at
different grade levels are provided and taught to attendees that they can then use within their schools. For the
D.A.R.E. program, it is mandatory that an officer is present that goes through the training process provided by
the program. The initial training costs $300, but the school district does provide funds each year to schools for
health, well-being, and safety for the students. Because D.A.R.E. would be directly addressing a real problem
present in the middle school and its surrounding area, the committee could work together to devise a proposal to
access the funds for the officer training, if she does not already have it.
Teaching Healthy Behavior Content Knowledge in the Classroom
The committee will also meet to work together to adjust curriculum instruction in the different content
areas so that each subject is able to touch on the discussion and education of substance abuse in a different
manner. Representatives of each content area can decide how the topics of substance abuse and peer pressure
can be incorporated in the curriculum map already in place as set by the district office. The content area
representatives will then meet with the other staff members in their department to discuss the implementation
plans so that each classroom throughout the school year receives instruction on the subject. For example,
science can directly address substance abuse by discussing how drugs, tobacco, and alcohol have negative
effects on the body, brain, and overall development. At the same time, the ELA and Reading classes can cover
points of view and analyze both fiction and nonfiction pieces of writing that reference the abuse of different
substances. Upon meeting as a committee, they would be able to discuss how they could all simultaneously be
covering a different outlook and method of teaching about substance abuse.


Once the DARE Program and introduction of new curriculum is underway, the school can begin its
focus on National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week in January (See Appendix B). The school can use morning
announcements to provide different facts each day of the week. Comic strips that demonstrate the impact of
drugs can be used as a social connection with students that they can relate to (See Appendix D) Through comic
strips, discussions can be started through a funny but serious manner. Students can analyze the comic strips and
talk as a class about what they take away from it. Language arts classes can analyze articles to match with their
daily objectives and substance abuse education, and science classes can instruct students on how drugs and
alcohol affect their health and bodies. The Health and Wellness Committee at the school will also assemble tshirts that focus on staying drug-free that can either be sold at the school or given out as prizes during daily
raffles each day of the week (See Appendix C). They can also host a poster designing contest for students that
create posters about substance abuse and peer pressure. The participants would hang their posters around the
school, and be able to display them at the next school assembly.
Family and Community Involvement
Parents and family can also receive information through a flier about the instruction for the National
Drug and Alcohol Facts Week. By doing so they will receive the same facts that the students are learning, as
well as resources provided by the school if the parents find out their students or other family members and
friends are using drugs. The flier the families receive will have websites and facilities they can use if they need
help with substance abuse.
Middle and high school students are vulnerable to the deep effects of substance abuse on the body and
overall health. Through a curriculum-based program, schools can teach students positive behaviors that will also
increase academic engagement and the social environment.
Substance abuse is a serious issue that has a negative impact on the overall health of adolescents. As
discovered through research studies and articles discussing substance abuse in children and teens, it can have
consequences on their emotional health and well-being. Through the use of drugs such as marijuana, students
can become more hostile and aggressive towards family members and their peers. However, schools and



educators can help instill health positive behaviors in students across the nation by implementing peer-led
prevention programs into the daily classroom. Curriculums can be aligned to prevention programs and used as a
guide for teaching effective drug resistant skills to empower the next generation. In order to continue
empowering our students, drug prevention programs will grow with each year. The first year goal involves
exposing the teachers and student leaders to the ideas and aligning curriculum standards with the program as
well as the introduction of the DARE program. Our three year goal will aim at implementing mostly student led
programs, pep rallies, and fundraisers with one sponsor per grade level, and the full implementation of the
DARE Program. Finally, a five year goal will focus on one sponsor and all student leaders to guide our school
culture towards positive health behaviors.



Ansell, E. B., Laws, H. B., Roche, M. J., & Sinha, R. (2015). Effects of marijuana use on
impulsivity and hostility in daily life. Drug and alcohol dependence, 148, 136-142.
Botvin, G. J. (2000). Preventing drug abuse in schools: Social and competence enhancement
approaches targeting individual-level etiologic factors. Addictive behaviors, 25(6),
Delk, J., Springer, A. E., Kelder, S. H., & Grayless, M. (2014). Promoting teacher adoption of
physical activity breaks in the classroom: findings of the Central Texas CATCH Middle School Project.
Journal of School Health,84(11), 722-730.
Faggiano, F., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Burkhart, G., Bohrn, K., Cuomo, L., Gregori, D., ... & van der
Kreeft, P. (2010). The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention
program: 18-month follow-up of the EU-Dap cluster randomized controlled trial. Drug
and alcohol dependence,108(1), 56-64.
Franks, A., Kelder, S., Dino, G. A., Horn, K. A., Gortmaker, S. L., & Wiecha, J. L. (2015).
School-based programs: lessons learned from CATCH, Planet Health, and
Not-On-Tobacco. School Nutrition and Activity: Impacts on Well-Being, 147.
Gottfredson, D. C., & Wilson, D. B. (2003). Characteristics of effective school-based substance
abuse prevention. Prevention Science, 4(1), 27-38.
Johnston, L. D. (2010, May). Monitoring the Future. Retrieved February 12, 2016, from
Morris K. Udall Escuela De Bellas Artes. (2015). Retrieved January 22, 2016, from
National Institute on Drug Abuse,. National Drug And Alcohol Facts Week. 2016. Web. 2 Mar.
Sharma, M., & Manoj Sharma. (04/01/2015). Journal of alcohol and drug education: Substance


abuse in adolescents: Implications for research and practice North American Association
of Alcoholism Programs.
Velicer, W. F., Redding, C. A., Paiva, A. L., Mauriello, L. M., Blissmer, B., Oatley, K., ... &
Burditt, C. (2013). Multiple behavior interventions to prevent substance abuse and
increase energy balance behaviors in middle school students. Translational behavioral
medicine, 3(1), 82-93.




Appendix A


The conference will provide opportunities for attendees to gain enhanced knowledge, useful strategies, and
practical skills that will have an immediate and positive impact within their schools and local communities.
Internationally recognized speakers will deliver thought-provoking, dynamic presentations in addition to the
relevant general sessions and workshops on a wide variety of topics. Aside from the extraordinary learning
activities, networking events including Opening Ceremonies, a Welcome Reception and a Luncheon are
D.A.R.E. America will host the Conference at the prestigious Hyatt Regency Hotel on April 22, 2016.


Appendix B



Appendix C



Appendix D
Cartoon strips to engage student in thought provoking conversations on social influences and media.




Grading Scale

62.4% and below

Signature Assignment
The signature assignment is an assignment that is submitted electronically in Tk20 providing direct evidence of
student achievement and progress towards a specific outcome, or group of outcomes. The electronic submission
of the signature assignment in Tk20 serves two purposes; the signature assignment is intended to assess
important skills, abilities, and identifies areas of strength and challenge, which instructors use to evaluate
student progress. It also serves as a college data collection and storage site that is required by the Department of
Education. All students seeking certification are REQUIRED to upload and submit their signature assignment in
Tk20 for evaluation. For information, please see
Assignment Title: Healthy and Active Plan/Event Signature Assignment
Assignment Descriptions (detailed including grading criteria)
See Appendix A
Clinical Experience Implementation Description
Students will examine health practices and content in their clinical experiences and generate new best practices
for their own teaching that incorporate a better student understanding of health literacy.


Signature Assignment Rubric


Criteria with (5) Exemplary

(4) Highly
(97 100%)
10 Points
Logical, detailed Brief outline
outline with at
with at least 5
original peer
peer reviewed
for points)
written in APA
written in APA
format is
submitted with a format is
choice selected
to embed the
5 x 2=10 points
10 Points
Introduction Introduction is
Introduction is
to the topic fully developed, fully developed
well organized,
with all topics
introduces all
topics, created a
(In your
plan for the
paper and invites
the reader to
read further.
5 x 2=10 points
1c,k; 5k; 9f;
3a,d; 4a,c
Literature Review
15 Points
Adequacy of 1. Literature
1. Literature
Knowledge review
review addresses
(includes 5
highlights major major issues in
issues in the
the area.
2. Thorough use
2. Thorough use of a range of
of a range of
references to
references to
support key
support key

(3) Proficient
(83 92%)

(2) Approaching
(73 82%)

and below)

Brief outline
with some
references but
not 5 original
peer reviewed
written in APA
format are

Brief outline
with one or no

No outline was

Introduction is
addressed well,
organized and
created a plan
for the paper.

Introduction is

Introduction is
omitted or was
disorganized and
did not create a
plan for the

1. Literature
review may
address major
issues, but issues
may not be
supported with

1. Literature
review does not
address the
major issues in
the area; the
level of support
for the issues is
not adequate.

1. Literature
review does not
have the depth
of knowledge
appropriate to
this upper level

2. Good use of

2. Includes 3

2. Includes less
than 2