What is iDECIDE?
iDECIDE (Drug Education Curriculum: Intervention, Diversion, and Empowerment), is a drug education curriculum developed to provide behavioral support and psychoeducation for middle and high school students. The program is designed to serve as a secondary prevention effort for youth at risk for escalation to problematic substance use and as an alternative to suspension, expulsion, and other exclusionary practices for school-based substance use infractions. iDECIDE provides schools and communities the resources to empower students to engage in healthy decision making. iDECIDE is not a cessation program, and is not meant to be used in lieu of treatment.
Why was iDECIDE developed?
There is an urgent need to define reasonable and effective school responses to student substance use infractions. To work towards this goal, it is essential that responses focus on the mental health and wellbeing of students and not on punishing behavior. Additionally, traditional exclusionary practices disproportionately impact low-income and black students. The iDECIDE curriculum provides an equitable response to infractions and promotes the future success of all students.
Is iDECIDE evidence-based?
The curriculum was developed with close attention to best practices and evidence-based practices in the scientific literature. Over 90 schools in Massachusetts are participating in an evaluation to measure the effectiveness of iDECIDE. Outcomes of this evaluation will be made available on our website and the program will be updated as guided by the data.
Who is developing this program?
This program was developed by the Center for Addiction Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Institute for Health and Recovery (IHR). Student and school stakeholder feedback was gathered at multiple points during development.
Who is this program being developed for?
iDECIDE was developed for middle and high school students who use substances. The content is not specific to a single substance since some students may use multiple substances and using one substance may increase the risk of using additional substances.
Is iDECIDE relevant for students using all forms of substances?
Yes, iDECIDE is agnostic to the specific substance(s) used by the participant.
What is the structure of the iDECIDE program?
iDECIDE is a 4-session (1 hour each) program that includes videos, discussion, activities, and at-home assignments. The sessions are structured to be conducted in either a group or individual format.
When will this program be available for us to implement?
Please contact the iDECIDE team to determine when this program will be available for your community at .
What languages will the program be available in?
Initially, the program is available in English and Spanish. If you have a specific language request, please let us know so we can prioritize it.
Is the website and learning management system disability accessible?
iDECIDE is committed to making our resources available to everyone. Content was developed based on WCAG and ARIA specifications. If you have any questions about our accessibility features or if you are in any need of assistance, please email us at , or call us at 617-643-1771.
What are the resources required to be able to implement iDECIDE in our school or community?
iDECIDE was developed with sustainability and scalability in mind to be able to meet the needs of a diverse range of schools and communities. Schools designate someone to be a trained facilitator and once they complete the free training, facilitators will have access to all the resources.
Is there a cost for training to be an iDECIDE facilitator or for bringing iDECIDE to our school.
No. iDECIDE is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. There is no cost for training or bringing the iDECIDE program to your school.
How will facilitators be trained?
Facilitators can volunteer to sign up or be assigned by their school or community program. The training is one-day, in-person and each site also receives support from an assigned iDECIDE to help with implementation. If you or someone you know might be interested in signing up for facilitator training, please contact us at iDECIDE@mgh.harvard.edu.
Do I need to be a clinician to be an iDECIDE facilitator?
No. The iDECIDE Facilitator Training Program was developed taking all backgrounds into consideration.
Is there a stipend available to facilitate iDECIDE?
At this time, there are limited modest stipends available for schools at early access sites to use at their discretion to offset the costs of training and administering the program. Availability for stipends in other schools or states is contingent upon other funding sources.
What trainings will be offered outside of Massachusetts?
At this time, we do not have any trainings scheduled outside of MA. However, please contact us at to inquire further about future virtual trainings.
Who should we contact if we have further questions?
If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to .