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Overdose prevention initiative

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Opioid and substance use prevention resources for adult role models working with youth.

Adult role models have an essential role on the growth and development of youth. They help guide youth to make healthy and informed decisions. Positive role models are protective social factors that promote youth health and well-being, and may reduce the risk of youth substance use, including high-risk substance use.

Below is a list of resources to support adult role models communicate with youth about the risks of opioid and other substance use. The resources are listed under each adult role model type:

adults and youth

Parents, guardians, and caretakers

Operation Prevention: Parent Toolkit

This toolkit helps parents learn more about the opioid problem, recognize warning signs, and open lines of communication with youth. Source: DEA/Discovery Education

Opioids: Facts Parents Need to Know

This guidebook and website helps parents talk with youth about opioid use and misuse. Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Should Your Teen Take that Opioid Prescription?

This article shares information on teen opioid prescription use and risks, and includes action steps to make sure teens use prescription pain medication responsibly. Source: Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) - Get Smart About Drugs

When Opioid Pain Relievers Are Prescribed For Your Child: What You Should Know

This article shares the dangers of misusing opioids, questions parents, guardians, or caregivers are encouraged to ask their child’s doctor/prescriber when an opioid is recommended, the steps to follow if an opioid has been prescribed (e.g., safeguarding medication and taking the medication as prescribed), and the signs of opioid misuse or dependence. Source: Partnership to End Addiction

Start A Conversation: 10 Questions Teens Ask About Drugs and Health

This website gives answers to the 10 most frequently asked questions of teens to help adults have a conversation with teens about drugs and health. Source: NIDA

"Talk. They Hear You." Parent Resources

This website offers resources, including a Mobile App and podcast, to help parents start and continue the conversation about the dangers of drinking alcohol and using other drugs at a young age. Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Kinship Care Toolkit

A toolkit to support individuals caring for children impacted by parental substance use and/or overdose. Source: New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports

teacher and students

Educators and Schools

Free Narcan® (naloxone HCl) Nasal Spray to Eligible Schools

  • Emergent Biosolutions offers free naloxone to eligible schools, colleges, universities, and other local partners. Contact Emergent BioSolutions to learn more at: EmergentGives@ebsi.com
  • The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) offers free naloxone (Narcan®) kits through the Naloxone Distribution Project (NDP). Review the FAQs (PDF) to learn more.

CA Safe Schools Readiness Hub

The Safe Schools For All Hub consolidates key resources and information, including substance use prevention, to support safe, in-person learning in K-12 schools and encourage student health. New resources are added to the Hub on a routine basis.

School Naloxone Policy Example

This resource is an example of a naloxone policy that schools and districts can use to create their own naloxone policy. CDPH encourages schools and districts to consider naloxone as a tool to prevent opioid-related overdose death. Schools interested in getting naloxone on campus should first sign up for the Statewide Standing Order for Naloxone, which permits entities to distribute naloxone without a prescription.

Operation Prevention: School Resources

This website offers resources in both English and Spanish to educate students in grades 3 through 12 about the impacts of opioids. The resources include digital lessons, virtual field trips, and educator guides. Source: DEA/Discovery Education

"Talk. They Hear You." School & Educator Resources

This website offers resources on the role of student assistance professionals, such as teachers with behavioral expertise, school psychologists, and school counselors in providing onsite support for students. Additionally, the resources show different ways educators can share prevention messages with their students’ parents and caregivers, including a free Student Assistance Program Webinar Series and student conversation starter videos and materials. Source: SAMHSA

Below are student lessons and activities to educate teens about the effects and consequences of drug use. Source: NIDA

Is This Legit? Accessing Valid and Reliable Health Information

  • Audience: Grade levels 9 through 12
  • Purpose: Promote and increase health literacy.
  • Duration: 35 minutes

Opioids: What You Need to Know

  • Audience: Grade levels 6 through 12
  • Purpose: Learn what opioids are, the potential dangers of opioids, and how to use opioids safely. 
  • Duration: 1 class period

Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Opioids

  • Audience: Grade levels 5 through 9
  • Purpose: Explain how prescription pain medicines and opioids change the brain's communication centers and cause effects. This booklet is part of the Mind Matters series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.
  • Duration: 1-2 class period(s)

mentor and youth

Youth-serving individuals, organizations, and providers 

Getting Candid: Framing the Conversation Around Youth Substance Use Prevention

This toolkit, online course, and message guide (PDF) aim to equip youth-serving providers and organizations with helpful tools and resources to support meaningful substance use prevention conversations. Source: National Council for Mental Wellbeing

For questions, please contact us at opi@cdph.ca.gov.
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