Safe and Drug-Free Schools

The Safe and Drug-Free Schools program reinforces self-esteem, self-control and decision-making skills that promote healthy choices and a drug-free lifestyle among students from kindergarten through 12th grade. It supports teachers with training and resources to assist in effective instruction and provides programs to educate students and parents about the dangers of drugs, drug abuse, and available treatment and services. The program offers guidance and support to school organizations that promote drug-free living (SHOUT, SHOP, SADD), and collaborates with the Frederick County Sheriff"s Office and School Resource Officers in delivering the 6th grade COP program.

Parents Are Most Important in Keeping Children Drug Free

Parents need to begin open conversations with their child as early as elementary school about drugs and the importance of avoiding the misuse and abuse of drugs.

Tips for Parents

Be prepared & firm
Make clear rules
Make your position clear
Praise positive behavior

Listen
Talk with your kids
Help with peer pressure
Open an ongoing conversation

Be involved
Be truthful and honest
Show your love
Be a good role model

It is important for parents to know the signs that a teenager has a substance abuse problem.

Signs of Substance Abuse

Change in friends
Declining grades
Change in appearance and hygiene
Use of incense, room deodorizer or perfume to hide smoke or chemical odors

Hostile or paranoid behavior
Evidence of drug paraphernalia
Increase in borrowing money, missing items

If You Suspect Your Child Is Using Drugs

Contact your child’s school counselor or other qualified health professional for assistance. A counselor can verify if there are changes in your child’s attendance, grades, friends, or attitude that may indicate possible drug use. Some parents may want to have their child tested for possible drug use. Following are some options:

  • Contact the Frederick County Health Department's (FCHD's) Behavioral Health Services Division for a free substance-abuse screening and assessment, 301-600-1755. Screenings identify youth who may have a substance-use problem. A comprehensive assessment can confirm the presence of a problem and help identify other issues associated with substance use. Parents, school counselors and other FCPS staff may make referrals to the FCHD's Behavioral Health Services Division. 
  • Contact your family physician who can write a referral for a drug test to be conducted at a local laboratory. This will provide a very accurate test, but parents should seek drug treatment for their child.
  • Drug-testing kits are available at many local pharmacies. Parents need to be aware that teens know how to alter urine tests results. It is highly recommended parents seek immediate drug counseling and treatment for their child.

Drug Trends for FCPS

The Maryland Department of Education conducts an Adolescent Survey every two years with 6th, 8th, 10th, and 12th graders across the state. Statistics provide a snapshot of current drugs of abuse, trend data and safety issues.