Drug Use Prevention
Education Issues Recommended
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, House Speaker
Clifford Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), and Senate President Larry Obhof
(R-Medina) today released the Ohio Joint Study Committee on Drug Use
Prevention Education's list of recommendations on options for
implementing age-appropriate substance abuse education in schools
across all grade levels.
Attorney General DeWine, Speaker Rosenberger, and former Senate
President Keith Faber created the study committee in August.
“At least eight people are dying each day in Ohio from accidental drug
overdoses. This is happening in our cities, suburbs, and small
towns, and no community is immune,” said Ohio Attorney General Mike
DeWine. “We must educate all of Ohio’s kids early-on and keep
repeating the message about the dangers of drug addiction. This
report will serve as a road map to help implement comprehensive
substance abuse prevention programs.”
The study committee concluded that Ohio schools should provide
consistent, age-appropriate, evidence-based substance abuse education
for all students in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Although there is
no one-size-fits-all curriculum for Ohio schools, the committee offered
a number of examples of curriculum that could be used to meet this
Because there is no baseline for determining how schools are currently
implementing substance abuse education in Ohio, the group also
recommended that Ohio adopt a reporting system that requires schools to
publicly report how they are fulfilling their requirements to provide
substance abuse education.
The committee also recognized the importance of social and emotional
education. This instruction teaches good decision-making skills,
builds self-esteem, and encourages positive interactions with others,
which in turn, could help students resist alcohol, tobacco, and other
drugs. Social and emotional education is currently only provided
in schools through the third grade, but the committee recommends these
skills be taught across all grade levels.
"I want to commend the members on this joint committee for their
thorough and informative work,” Speaker Rosenberger said. “Their
collaborative and organized process has brought forward a series of
recommendations that can truly make a difference in the lives of Ohio’s
students. As we continue to find ways to curtail opioid abuse in the
state, there is nothing more important than ensuring that our children
are aware of the dangers of drug addiction and how it can ruin their
futures and rob them of a healthy, successful life. I want to also
thank Representatives Robert Sprague, Terry Johnson, and Heather
Bishoff for their work on the committee and to all the members for
their efforts in keeping Ohio's kids drug free."
“We know that early education is key to keeping our children from
trying drugs, and we must be consistent and unified in our message that
substance abuse can devastate their lives and their futures,” said
Senate President Obhof. "I appreciate all the work by this committee to
ensure this message is loud and strong in every community in Ohio."
The group also recommended that before and after school programs
coordinate with schools to reinforce drug-free messages and that
schools and communities incorporate ongoing assessments to evaluate
current trends and the effectiveness of preventative strategies.
The group recommended that law enforcement continue its presence in
schools in an effort to advocate for drug-free lifestyles and that law
enforcement and other officials work with parent/teacher organizations
to ensure that caregivers understand the importance of substance abuse
prevention education also being taught at home.
In total, the Ohio Joint Study Committee on Drug Use Prevention
Education issued 15 recommendations. The complete report is available
on the Ohio Attorney General's website.
Copies of the report will be provided to schools and communities across
the state, Ohio Governor John Kasich, and members of the Ohio General