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iDECIDE was developed by the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in collaboration with the Office of Youth and Young Adult Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Institute for Health Recovery (IHR).


iDECIDE (Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment) was developed to provide schools with a science-based intervention for students caught violating school substance use policy (e.g., using at school or at school sanctioned events or reporting to school intoxicated). iDECIDE is an alternative to punitive responses to student substance use.

The objective of iDECIDE is to provide students with:

  • A scientific understanding of the impact of substance use and addiction on the adolescent brain and body;

  • An understanding of the common tactics used by industry to target young people;

  • The ability to identify and respond to personal impulses to use alcohol and other drugs; and

  • A sense of empowerment and a plan to make healthy decisions in line with their core values and future goals.


Teen substance use is not inevitable. A growing number of U.S. teens are choosing not to use alcohol or other drugs.

Although misperceptions that vaping (nicotine and marijuana/THC) is “safe and healthy” have resulted in increased use by teens, an analysis of data from the 2018 Monitoring the Future Survey showed that, overall, more U.S. teens didn’t use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs than in prior decades. A driving factor has been the decline in smoking among U.S. teens; showing that prevention and intervention efforts can, and do, work.

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iDECIDE facilitators come from many backgrounds and can be school or personnel from non-school partner organizations. The ideal facilitator is driven by a passion for supporting the future wellbeing of our youth, a willingness to learn techniques to best support them, and is dedicated to the iDECIDE mission. The iDECIDE team provides a workshop, continuing education, and facilitator coaching and support, so that facilitators can focus on what matters; listening, connecting with, and empowering our youth.

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iDECIDE is proud to be supported by Dalio Philanthropies. To date, the Dalio family has given over $6 billion in funding to Dalio Philanthropies to support diverse philanthropic passions including those related to education and youth wellbeing. Their support will help further the mission of iDECIDE, promoting education and empowerment over punishment. Together, we can help to improve health equity among students and ensure responses to substance use infractions at school are effective, age-appropriate, and evidence-based for all.



Job Opening(s)

Other Training Opportunities

The Center on Child Wellbeing and Trauma

  • This is a joint project between the Office of the Child Advocate and UMass Chan Medical School! The center offers:

    • Information about adverse and positive childhood experiences

    • Best practices for becoming trauma-informed and responsive

    • Trainings, toolkits, and other resources

Advisory: Prescription Stimulant Misuse Among Youth and Young Adults

This Advisory reviews the evidence on prescription stimulant misuse among youth and young adults. It establishes prescription stimulant misuse as a public health problem, identifies associated risk and protective factors, and provides programs and action steps for stakeholders to prevent misuse.

iDECIDE is funded by a Cooperative Agreement to MGH from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Office of Youth & Young Adult Services’ federal award by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.


Contact Info

101 Merrimac St., Suite 320

Boston, MA 02114