What are Best Practices when Addressing Students Who Have Substance Use Issues?
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Research shows that progressive discipline creates a positive school culture and supports students who are in violation of school drug and alcohol policies to reach their full potential by pairing inappropriate behaviour with appropriate consequences. There is little research available to show that zero tolerance policies meet either of these goals by applying the same punitive consequence to any student who violates the policy regardless of gravity of behavior, mitigating circumstances or situational context. When making school drug and alcohol policy dislocation theory and the transtheoretical model (TTM) should be considered. This paper includes a review of literature relating to best practices in relation to discipline and behavioral interventions for students who have substance use issues. It looks at different theoretical models such as TTM, dislocation theory, zero tolerance and progressive discipline. This capstone also documents the importance of considering TTM and dislocation theory when providing behavior interventions to students who use substances. It investigates what school districts are currently doing on local, national and international levels when dealing with students who are in violation of the school drug and alcohol policy and examines what the research says about the drug and alcohol policies school districts are currently using. Lastly, this paper uses the research to consider what are best practices in relation to discipline and behavioural interventions for students who have substance use issues.