Addressing Substance Abuse in Schools: What Can We Do?

Prevention, Intervention and Family Supports

New Hampshire Association of School Psychologists

2017 Seasonal Meeting

Friday May, 19, 2017

Presenter: Daniel B. Jacobs, Ed.M., M.B.A., Psy.D.

Location: Winnipesaukee Yacht Club 

45 Dockham Shore Road

Gilford, NH

Time: Registration 8:45 - 9:15

Workshop 9:15 - 3:30

$50.00 - Open only to NHASP members & members of neighboring state associations of school psychologists 
Lunch included!


Program Description:

Youth engaging in substance abusing behaviors face many challenges in their lives, including a decreased ability to succeed with academic demands in school, correlated mental health risk, and destructive behavioral expression. Schools and communities are aware of how drug abuse impacts students yet, for a variety of reasons (e.g., lack of resources, political pressures, limited training), many of the programs put in place in some schools to address youth substance abuse do not accurately reflect evidence-based practices and are not as effective as they could be in addressing the problem. Many school-based interventions are also reactive, punitive and limited in scope. If we are to be best prepared to help the youth impacted by these problems, we need to “put egos on the shelf” and be open to changing how interventions are designed and implemented in schools and school psychologists are primed to be the change agents spearheading this type of initiative.

Effective behavior change programs for youth, including substance abuse prevention and intervention programs, share commonalities such as clear presentation of information, fostering motivation to change, offering skills training and practice, promotion of self-esteem and a sense of self-efficacy, and engagement with families when possible and appropriate. A very strong example of this type of programming is “Project Safeguard”, a program designed to involve students and their parents/guardians in addressing substance abuse and other risk behaviors. It was started in Merrimack, NH by educators Warren Berry and Thomas Levesque in 1988, and this will be one of the organic intervention examples we look at for useful lessons during our time together. School psychologists are uniquely trained and positioned to engage in similar effective behavior change interventions and also have potential to be the leaders in development of additional effective school-based substance abuse interventions. Unfortunately, outside of a small group of professionals specifically trained in substance abuse interventions, most school-based clinicians such as school psychologists have not had enough (if any) training in this area and this work can seem extra challenging without the proper background. Skill development of effective substance abuse interventions is crucial for school psychologists to be better armed to fight the behavioral, mental health and academic impairments linked to student drug usage.

In this training session, we will look at ways to foster skill development for school psychologists engaged in substance abuse education and intervention efforts. We will also examine recent research findings related to adolescent substance abuse, school-based interventions and lasting behavior change. Intervention concepts and practices that foster self-efficacy and actual change practices, and can be employed in participants’ schools, will be introduced and discussed as well. The goal is for participants to leave this training with practical strategies to address prevention, intervention, and family support concerns.

This workshop will include a mix of lecture, case method, multi-media presentation and discussion, and is designed to be informative, realistic and practical. We hope you can join us.

Measurable Goals for the Day:

At the completion of this training, participants will be able to:

1.  Identify up-to-date data on adolescent substance abuse and know how to apply this knowledge in a practical fashion in systemic interventions and collaborative consultations.

2.  Explore new areas of dual diagnosis and mental health interventions designed for school settings to develop social and life skills.

3.  Consider and implement ways to help colleagues adopt a proactive stance towards substance abuse intervention in schools that fosters self-esteem, self-efficacy and lasting behavior change.

4.  Develop at least one practical application for trial in one’s own school with a focus on prevention and responsive services for youth with substance concerns, and their families.


Registration 8:45-9:15

Morning Session(A)  9:15-10:45

Morning Break 10:45-11:00

Morning Session(B) 11:00-12:15

Lunch 12:15-1:00

Afternoon Session(A) 1:00-2:00

Afternoon Break 2:00-2:15

Afternoon Session (B) 2:15-3:30

Bio of Presenter:

Dan Jacobs, Ed.M., M.B.A., Psy.D., is an Assistant Professor at William James College (WJC) in Newton, MA, in the School Psychology Department, where he teaches a range of courses for MA/CAGS and doctoral students including: Addressing Substance Abuse in Schools, Collaborative Therapy with Multi-Stressed Families, Counseling and Psychotherapy in Schools, Clinical Interviewing with Children and Families, and Psychopathology of Childhood and Adolescence. Dr. Jacobs trains and consults nationally on topics of mental health, addiction, and effective behavior change. He is the former Director of the Adolescent and Adult Partial Hospital Programs at NSMC/Salem Hospital in Salem, MA. In addition, as a licensed psychologist and health service provider, he works in private practice at Jacobs Psychological and Consulting Services (JPCS) in Andover, MA helping youth, adults, and families with mental health and dual diagnosis concerns. Dr. Jacobs believes hope is always an option and believes adoption of a strength-based and proactive mindset is the most effective way to begin the journey of helping our clients become empowered to make positive changes in their lives.


Winnipesaukee Yacht Club 

45 Dockham Shore Road

Gifford, NH

From exit 20 off 93:

Take US 3 North for about 7 miles

Take a slight right turn onto US 3 North (by-pass) towards Gilford

Go to the end of the By-Pass and take a left onto Rt 11 East

At the second set of lights, take a left onto Rt 11B

In .8 miles, take a right onto Dockham Shore Road

The Winnipesaukee Yacht Club will be a 1/4 mile up on the right. 

The entrance to the parking lot will be on the right, marked by a stone sign "WYC" 


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