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Supporting Schools: Strategies for Discussing Substance Use with Students

October 18, 2019 . 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

The Supporting Schools training is intended to increase school adjustment counselors, social workers, nurses, guidance counselors, and other school based personnel’s capacity to engage students in conversation about  substance mis-use to either;

-decrease the likelihood their substance use will escalate,


-increase the students’ motivation to seek treatment.

Through Motivational Interviewing strategies, Stage of Change Theory, and principles of the Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA), the training will teach concrete skills for engaging students in a developmentally appropriate conversation about substance use and strategies for navigating student ambivalence about their substance use.

A-CRA is a developmentally appropriate treatment model for youth and young adults (12-24 years old) with substance misuse or substance use disorders.  A-CRA is an evidence based practice developed by Chestnut Health Systems. The brief treatment model has been adapted to focus on four key A-CRA procedures to support school staff intervening around a student’s substance use, possession, or other behaviors in a school setting; or recognizing if a referral for further consultation or treatment is appropriate. The training will review and demonstrate the A-CRA Functional Analysis of Substance Using Behavior, Increasing Pro-social Recreation, Drink/Drug Refusal Skills, and Sobriety Sampling. Participants will have an opportunity to role play these procedures in small groups using student case vignettes.


  • Apply Motivational Interviewing strategies to engage youth about substance use;
  • List the Stages of Change;
  • Describe the A-CRA model;
  • Observe role play and demonstrate use of A-CRA procedures; and
  • List steps to making a referral to A-CRA Treatment.

There will be CEUs available for a fee of $25. If you would like to obtain CEUs please select I want CEUs when registering.


Office of Youth and Young Adult Services
AdCare Educational Institute


Hotel on North
297 North Street
Pittsfield, MA 01201 United States
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