Outline of the state of Washington

Alcohol and Drug-use Intervention Programs

Alcohol and Drug-use Intervention Programs

State law encourages districts to implement school-based alcohol and drug referral, intervention or treatment programs for students with substance use disorders.

Revised Code of Washington 28A.170.075 Findings—Intent.

(1) The legislature finds that the provision of drug and alcohol counseling and related prevention and intervention services in schools will enhance the classroom environment for students and teachers, and better enable students to realize their academic and personal potentials. (2) The legislature finds that it is essential that resources be made available to school districts to provide early drug and alcohol prevention and intervention services to students and their families; to assist in referrals to treatment providers; and to strengthen the transition back to school for students who have had problems of drug and alcohol abuse. (3) Substance abuse awareness programs funded under this chapter do not fall within the definition of basic education for purposes of Article IX of the state Constitution and the state’s funding duty thereunder. (4) The legislature intends to provide grants for drug and alcohol abuse prevention and intervention in schools, targeted to those schools with the highest concentrations of students at risk.

Policy Type

Revised Code of Washington 28A.170.080 Grants—Substance abuse intervention.

(1) Grants provided under RCW 28A.170.090 may be used solely for services provided by a substance abuse intervention specialist or for dedicated staff time for counseling and intervention services provided by any school district certificated employee who has been trained by and has access to consultation with a substance abuse intervention specialist. Services shall be directed at assisting students in kindergarten through twelfth grade in overcoming problems of drug and alcohol abuse, and in preventing abuse and addiction to such substances, including nicotine. The grants shall require local matching funds so that the grant amounts support a maximum of eighty percent of the costs of the services funded. The services of a substance abuse intervention specialist may be obtained by means of a contract with a state or community services agency or a drug treatment center. Services provided by a substance abuse intervention specialist may include:

  • (a) Individual and family counseling, including preventive counseling;
  • (b) Assessment and referral for treatment;
  • (c) Referral to peer support groups;
  • (d) Aftercare;
  • (e) Development and supervision of student mentor programs;
  • (f) Staff training, including training in the identification of high-risk children and effective interaction with those children in the classroom; and
  • (g) Development and coordination of school drug and alcohol core teams, involving staff, students, parents, and community members.

(2) For the purposes of this section, “substance abuse intervention specialist” means any one of the following, except that diagnosis and assessment, counseling and aftercare specifically identified with treatment of chemical dependency shall be performed only by personnel who meet the same qualifications as are required of a qualified chemical dependency counselor employed by an alcoholism or drug treatment program approved by the department of social and health services.

  • (a) An educational staff associate employed by a school district or educational service district who holds certification as a school counselor, school psychologist, school nurse, or school social worker under Washington professional educator Standard board rules adopted pursuant to RCW 28A.410.210;
  • (b) An individual who meets the definition of a qualified drug or alcohol counselor established by the bureau of alcohol and substance abuse;
  • (c) A qualified professional employed by the department of social and health services;
  • (d) A psychologist licensed under chapter 18.83 RCW; or
  • (e) A children’s mental health specialist as defined in RCW 71.34.020.
Policy Type

Revised Code of Washington 28A.320.127 Plan for recognition screening and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students including possible sexual abuse.

(1) Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, each school district must adopt a plan for recognition, initial screening, and response to emotional or behavioral distress in students, including but not limited to indicators of possible substance abuse, violence, youth suicide, and sexual abuse. The school district must annually provide the plan to all district staff.

(2) At a minimum the plan must address:

  • (a) Identification of training opportunities in recognition, screening, and referral that may be available for staff;
  • (b) How to use the expertise of district staff who have been trained in recognition, screening, and referral;
  • (c) How staff should respond to suspicions, concerns, or warning signs of emotional or behavioral distress in students;
  • (d) Identification and development of partnerships with community organizations and agencies for referral of students to health, mental health, substance abuse, and social support services, including development of at least one memorandum of understanding between the district and such an entity in the community or region;
  • (e) Protocols and procedures for communication with parents and guardians, including the notification requirements under RCW 28A.320.160 ;
  • (f) How staff should respond to a crisis situation where a student is in imminent danger to himself or herself or others;
  • (g) How the district will provide support to students and staff after an incident of violence, youth suicide, or allegations of sexual abuse;
  • (h) How staff should respond when allegations of sexual contact or abuse are made against a staff member, a volunteer, or a parent, guardian, or family member of the student, including how staff should interact with parents, law enforcement, and child protective services; and
  • (i) How the district will provide to certificated and classified staff the training on the obligation to report physical abuse or sexual misconduct required under RCW 28A.400.317.

(3) The plan under this section may be a separate plan or a component of another district plan or policy, such as the harassment, intimidation, and bullying prevention policy under RCW 28A.300.2851 or the comprehensive safe school plan required under RCW 28A.320.125.

Policy Type