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Understanding Substance Use: Educator's Guide

The guide, co-developed by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction (CCSA) and several school boards, aims to equip educators with knowledge and resources to promote well-being and reduce substance-related harms among youth.

Designed for professionals working with grades 6-12, the guide is organized into five key topic areas:

1. Understanding Substance Use
   - Explains the spectrum of use, substance use disorders, and risk factors.
   - Emphasizes harm reduction and support strategies.

2. Understanding Stigma
   - Defines substance use stigma, its types, and impacts.
   - Provides strategies to reduce stigma and promote understanding.

3. Understanding Cannabis Vaping
   - Covers cannabis vaping methods, risks, and harm reduction strategies.

4. Understanding Alcohol
   - Explores alcohol's effects, products, health risks, and ways to mitigate these risks.

5. Understanding Impaired Driving
   - Discusses the effects of substances on driving, risks, legal enforcement, and youth support strategies.

The guide is intended to be used alongside video modules. It provides in-depth information, self-reflection exercises, and additional resources for further learning.

Key Messages
- Substance use is a complex issue with varying impacts on individuals.
- Educators can significantly influence students' health choices.
- Understanding and addressing stigma is crucial in supporting those with substance use issues.
- Knowledge of specific substances like cannabis and alcohol and issues like impaired driving is essential for comprehensive education and prevention efforts.

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