Primary and Secondary Education │AIR CARES
AIR’s Center for Addiction Research and Effective Solutions (CARES) recognizes that the primary education system has a role in preventing and/or delaying problematic alcohol and drug use as well as connecting youth to care who may need behavioral health services for mental health and substance use needs. Schools also serve as a first line of defense for youth experiencing trauma, which—left unaddressed—has long-term implications for substance use disorder, mental health and other chronic conditions.
Lack of access to quality education and its neighborhood correlates lead to marginalization and places individuals at higher risk for addiction. Providing quality education in safe and supportive learning environments is a key prevention strategy for addiction. When we are able to prepare youth for learning, keep youth engaged, helping them to achieve age-specific educational and social milestones, we lower the risk of substance use disorder.