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 and throughout their school years.

The following resources can be used by teachers in the classroom or to support school initiatives. For questions, contact Client and Community Support at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 7006 or email



Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addictionoffers an educator guide and video modules to help educators understand and build confidence talking about substance use with youth. For Grades 6-12. 

Ophea provides lesson plans, ideas for action and professional learning for educators. 

School Mental Health Ontario: Substance Use and Addictionis a resource for educators that outlines the continuum of substance use and includes resources on cannabis, prescription opioids, and vaping. 

Talking with Teenagers about Drugs is a Government of Canada webpage that includes tips for talking with teens about drugs, information about cannabis, prescription drugs and other substances, and links to additional resources. 


Alcohol Marketing (Media Smarts) provides lessons and teacher resources about the influence alcohol messaging in advertising and media has on children. 


An Indigenous Perspective: Cannabis and Vaping (Ontario Native Education Counselling Association)is a toolkit for educators designed to provide culturally appropriate resources and training related to non-medical cannabis use and vaping. This resource was created in collaboration with elders, youth advisors and community members. 

Cannabis: What Educators Need to Know (PDF)is an info-sheet to help educators to have informed conversations with students about recreational cannabis. 

Pursue Your Passion (Health Canada)is a program for educators to help increase student awareness about the effects of Cannabis use on the brain and mental health. Activities and other resources available. 

Talking About Weed (WDG Public Health)features videos, resources and supports, and information on ways to reduce health risks associated with cannabis use. For grades 9-12. 

Talking Pot with Youth: A Cannabis Communication Guide for Youth Allieshelp adults understand the youth perspective and practical ways to have a supportive conversation about cannabis with youth. For grades 9-12. 

Opioids and other drugs

Know More Opioids (Health Canada) is an awareness program to engage teens and youth across Canada about the opioid crisis, signs of overdose, naloxone and the impact of stigma. 

Prescription Opioids, including Fentanyl: What Educators Need to Know is an info sheet for educators on the topic of prescription opioid misuse, including a focus on fentanyl. 


Tobacco Marketing (Media Smarts) offers lesson plans and resources about tobacco marketing in both traditional and digital media. For Grades 4-10. 

Talking About…Series (Lung Health Foundation)offers activity guides to help facilitate discussions with youth about cannabis, tobacco and vaping in a fun and informative manner. 

Tobacco Wise (Indigenous Tobacco Program) provides messaging to learn about the traditional or sacred use of tobacco by First Nations and Métis people. 


Clearing Up the Cloud (WDG Public Health) provides information about how vaping works, what’s in a vape, youth vaping statistics and quit vaping resources. 

Consider the Consequences of Vaping (Health Canada) is a program that encourages youth to make informed choicesusing online self-led modules, resources and activities. 

I Quit for Me  (Health Canada) is a program designed to assist health professionals, educators, who work with youth to provide practical information on dealing with cravings and withdrawal, and tips on staying smoke and vape-free.  

Not An Experimentprovides lesson plans, activities, games and more on vaping. Includes quit plan for students. 

Vaping: What secondary school educators need to know (PDF)is a fact sheet that provides general information about vaping and outlines important facts, associated risks and additional resources to support educators in having informed conversations with students. 

Vaping: What’s the Hype? provides curriculum-linked activities to learn and critically think about vaping. For Grades 5-9. 

What the Vape?!?! (Lung Health Foundation)is an online module that teaches why vaping is not normal or harmless and how to take action. 

Vibed: Vaping Cessation and Intervention (University of Toronto and the Ontario Tobacco and Research Unit) is an educational resource designed to equip youth ages 13-18 with insights into the impact of vaping and strategies to counteract risk. Resources include videos and group activities.