School-based prevention programs have historically been a key component of a comprehensive prevention system. Epidemiological evidence suggests the age of onset for substance abuse is in early adolescence, and peers are a primary influence on adolescent behavior. Schools reach many adolescents in a single location while providing a controlled environment for delivery of prevention curricula and nonuse norms, policies, and practices. Schools not only can provide a solid academic foundation for students and teach skills that enable them to make choices about healthy lifestyles throughout their lives but can create an environment where substance use is either a norm or not acceptable.

According to the Education Development Center, Inc., in a document titled School-Based Prevention: Critical Components, schools can enhance their efforts to reduce or prevent ...

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