The ATOD Prevention Program is a student-centered model focused on decreasing student use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.
In the ATOD Prevention Program, carefully selected diverse social leaders are trained in communication skills and techniques to effectively communicate with their peers about the use, misuse and abuse of ATODs. The program utilizes many of the elements of the Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) which has proven to decrease bullying and mistreatment on campus.
This program equips the student leaders with the knowledge, motivation and skills to speak up regarding the peer pressure students often face to participate in ATOD use. Students learn safe and effective intervention techniques that allow them to retain status and credibility while speaking up and promoting healthier decisions.
The students gain a deeper understanding of the costs and consequences of using substances as adolescents, and an understanding of why it is important to support friends and peers in making healthy and positive choices. Over time, their interventions are proven to create a shift in the school norms supporting decreased peer acceptance of substance use.
“The program has increased our Ambassadors’ self-esteem because they feel empowered, they are genuinely helping, and they feel comfortable with the techniques.” -Dennis Camt, Meadow Hill School, Newburgh, NY