Caron in Pennsylvania: 800-854-6023
Caron Renaissance in Florida: 800-221-6500
Caron Ocean Drive in Florida: 800-216-9512
Contact Us

Policy Examples Along the Social Ecological Model

By: Beth DeRicco, PhD

1 Your Role
I want to learn about treatment options for:

2 Basic Information
The Person is:
years old

graduated high school

3 Condition Information
Caron Treatment Centers accepts patients aged 13 years or older. For more information on services available to those 12 and under, please learn more about Caron's Student Assistance Program.

Figure 1: The Social Ecological Model

Relationship: Level Policy: The family
 – it is clear that parents mediate youth risk behavior beyond the teen years and that having clear and consistent family expectations, policies, and rules can help mediate youth alcohol and other drug behavior (

Families with established rules around alcohol and other drug use for youth who are under the legal drinking age, and those who send clear messages and examples of enforcement of family rules, provide young people with an environment in which decisions about illegal and underage use are mediated by family cultural, rules, and values, and adult expectations.

 Community (Higher Education) Level Policy: DFSCA – The Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (EDGAR Part 86) mandates that campuses receiving federal funds or financial assistance must develop and implement a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. The program must include annual notification of the following: standards of conduct; a description of sanctions for violating federal, state, and local law and campus policy; a description of health risks associated with AOD use; a description of treatment options; and a biennial review of the program’s effectiveness and the consistency of the enforcement of sanctions. (

There is no statutory requirement that campuses provide recovery support programs under Part 86.  However, as part of annual notification requirements, IHEs must provide “a description of any drug or alcohol counseling, treatment, or rehabilitation or re-entry programs that are available to employees or students.” (Recovery/Relapse Prevention in Educational Settings For Youth With Substance Use & Co-occurring mental health disorders, Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, 2010 Consultative Report drafted May 2011)

Societal Level Policy: ADA –  the American’s With Disabilities Act provides a safety net for employees at businesses of 15 or more employees; individuals who have an impairment that limits their activities may qualify for accommodations, consideration and services (; for colleges and universities prior treatment for substance abuse would qualify an individual for accommodation ( especially since the campus environment has been deemed abstinence hostile (