Substance Use, Addictions & Related Behaviours

Teachers play an important role in educating students about substance use, addictions and related behaviours. Prevention messages are most effective when shared with students early in life.

The following resources can be used by teachers in the classroom or to support school initiatives. For questions, contact our School Health Curriculum Resource Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4111 or email

Community programs and Services

Here 24/7

Intake line to addictions, mental health and crisis services in Waterloo Wellington. Services are available for children, youth and adults. Call 1-844-HERE-247 or visit

Kids Help Phone

Telephone and online confidential counselling and referrals for children and youth. Call 1-800-668-6868 or visit

The website also includes information and resources about substance use for youth.

MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)

MADD provides educational programs to prevent drug and alcohol-related automobile crashes, for Grade 8.

Weed Out the Risk

An educational program to address road safety risks of driving under the influence of marijuana for youth drivers.

Recommended websites

Cannabis (Resources for Grades 6-12)

  • Cannabis Information for Educators (PDF): EDU update for educators on the impacts of cannabis legalization for schools and curriculum connections, and suggested parent resources.
  • Talking About WeedA local evidence-based campaign to raise awareness about the health effects of cannabis use among youth and adults. It features videos, links to local resources and supports, and information on ways to reduce health risks associated with cannabis use. For grades 9-12.
  • Talking Pot with Youth (PDF): A communication guide to help adults understand the youth perspective and practical ways to have a supportive conversation about cannabis with youth. For grades 9-12.
  • Ophea’s list of cannabis resourcesOphea has compiled a list of evidence-based resources on cannabis for educators, including connections to the H&PE curriculum. For grades 6-12.

E-cigarettes (Resources for Grades 7-12)

  • Vaping 101 Presentation: This interactive PowerPoint presentation gives an overview of e-cigarettes and answers frequently asked questions about vaping. Also available on Google Slides.
  • E-cigarette Activity Guide: Set of activity guides to help facilitate critical discussion about e-cigarettes.
  • E-Cigarettes Fact Sheet: Get answers to frequently asked questions like: What is an e-cigarette? How common are they? Are e-cigarettes safe? Can they help you quit smoking?
  • E-Cigarettes Posters: Contact the School Health Curriculum Resource Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4111 or for print-ready versions or to order copies.


Tobacco (Resources for Grades K-12)


Information on Prescription Opioids (PDF, 4 pages, 630 KB)

Information sheet for educators on prescription opioids (including fentanyl), developed by School Mental Health-Assist and The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Resources and lesson plans for Grades K-12 on alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs, as well as emotions and behavioural health.

Project ALERT

A free, classroom-based substance abuse prevention curriculum for Grades 7 and 8 that is proven to reduce the experimental and continual use of drugs among students. Includes online teacher training, lesson plans, posters, videos, and newsletters.

Talking with teenagers about drugs

This Government of Canada webpage includes tips for talking with teens about drugs, information about cannabis, prescription drugs and other substances, and links to additional resources.

Public library resources

The following resources are available for loan from your local library. These DVDs can be used with lesson plans or for school events. To book a resource, please visit the online catalogue of one of our participating public libraries: (Note: library membership required).

Dr. Crazy (DVD)

This 17 minute DVD features Dr. Crazy, a mad scientist who tries to trick children into buying tobacco products. It can be used for Grades 4-6 and includes a teacher’s resource guide.

iDrive: road stories (DVD)

This 23-minute DVD raises awareness about the risks and consequences of unsafe, aggressive and impaired driving. Grade 8 and up.