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K-12 drug education focuses primarily on teaching refusal skills. With nearly 60% of teens using drugs regularly (SAMHSA) and few with limited access to the internet, youth need a comprehensive education from their institutions, communities, and the people who trust and care for them. Their parents, caregivers, and educators also need practical information, tools, and resources for understanding substance use in the age of fentanyl and navigating a mental health and substance use crisis. 


We can no longer accept a “Just Say No” or “Just Say Nothing” approach. We all need to

“Just Say KNOW.”

Youth education should be evidence-based and reality-based and must be: 

✓ Age, grade, and culturally appropriate

✓ Involve parents, caregivers, teachers, healthcare providers, and community members 

✓ Inclusive of risk mitigation and harm reduction information for high school students, such as abstinence and responding to an overdose using naloxone and fentanyl test strips. 

✓ Grounded in providing tools and resources for coping with stress, trauma, substance use, and other risky behaviors in non-punitive ways to help oneself or others.

✓ Addressing adverse childhood experiences, i.e., witnessing and experiencing violence, abuse, caregiver loss, and other traumas, especially among young people of color. 

We support Louie’s Law in Illinois, the bill that expands K-12 drug education standards and community-based strategies. Find resources below so you can stand with us and advocate for Louie’s Law!





  • National Library of Medicine: D.A.R.E Outcome Effectiveness Revisited | Read the Study

  • Center for Disease Control and Prevention: High Risk Substance Use Among Youth | Read the Study

  • National Library of Medicine: Suspension of the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices | Read the Study



  • ACLU of Illinois

  • AIDS Foundation Chicago

  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter

  • Bond County Recovery Council

  • Broken No More

  • Buddy's Purpose

  • Cannabis Equity IL Coalition

  • Chicago Teachers Union

  • CLB Strategies

  • Duneys Defense

  • Entheo IL

  • Illinois Association of School Social Workers

  • Illinois Collaboration on Youth

  • Illinois Council of Health System Pharmacists

  • Illinois Education Association

  • Illinois Federation of Teachers

  • Illinois Harm Reduction & Recovery Coalition

  • Illinois Pharmacists Association

  • Illinois Psychedelic Society

  • Health & Medicine Policy Research Group

  • JOLT Foundation

  • Law Office of the Cook County Public Defender

  • Live R.E.A.L. Foundation

  • Live4Lali, Inc.

  • LTM Foundation

  • Lurie Children’s Hospital

  • Opioid Addiction Recovery Services Inc.

  • Perfectly Flawed Foundation

  • The Porchlight Collective, SAP

  • QC Harm Reduction

  • SAFE Illinois

  • Sana Healing Collective

  • Serenity House

  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy

  • Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities (TASC)

  • Womens Justice Institute

  • #HonorWithAction Illinois

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