In Our Schools

Varsity Athletes Against Substance Abuse (VAASA) is a peer leadership program in which high school varsity athletes pledge to remain alcohol and drug free. The athletes are trained to address younger students as positive role models.

VAASA members speak to elementary and middle school students, explaining that it is not necessary to drink in order to be popular or cool. In addition, they explain that choosing not to drink is a wise choice for many reasons. They dispel the myths that "all athletes drink", and talk about how they have fun without using substances.

Groups help adolescents identify and resist social and situational pressures to use substances, correct misperceptions about the prevalence and acceptability of substance use, focus on the personal consequences of use, teach and provide opportunities to practice resistance and coping skills and identify barriers to using the skills or adopting healthy attitudes.