Cerritos : Substance Abuse Program

A substance abuse prevention program, which will include a survey of students and will train 80 teachers to recognize and deal with drug and alcohol problems, was unanimously approved Monday by the ABC Unified School District Board of Education.

The survey, which is scheduled to be completed before the end of the school year on June 18, will cost $5,000 and be conducted by Rod Skager, associate dean of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. Students to be surveyed will be randomly selected from the seventh, ninth and 11th grades.

The survey will determine the extent of drug, alcohol and other substance abuse problems in the 22,000-student district headquartered in Cerritos, said board member Dianne Xitco.

“We just don’t know the scope of the problem but we know there is an enormous drug problem nationwide among youths. We hope we are not typical. We hope we are lucky,” Xitco said.


The prevention program, Xitco said, has been recommended by the district’s Substance Abuse Prevention Committee. The 19-member committee is composed of parents, administrators, teachers and board members.

Training for the teachers will be conducted by Tim Allen, executive director of Breakthrough, an out-patient treatment program for adolescents and their parents, located in Costa Mesa.

The five-day training session, scheduled to start at the beginning of the 1986-87 school year in September, will cost the district about $33,000, $12,000 of which will be used for training and $21,000 for the hiring of substitute teachers to replace the teachers in training.