The War on Drugs has been ongoing for decades with no end in sight. An opioid crisis is on the rise across the nation and is growing rapidly in rural America. Political leaders have taken many different approaches to combat the War on Drugs, but with little success. Other nations have placed a larger focus on prevention efforts in order to combat the drug crisis, with some of them having favorable results. Prevention efforts should be aimed towards the youth, as they are the future and also not yet addicted to drugs. A common approach to drug prevention is education programs that are integrated into schools. An abundance of these programs exists, and they are used in schools across the nation. Many of the current school drug prevention education programs have proven successful in reducing adolescent illicit substance use. Although current programs have had desirable results, little research has been conducted in rural school districts. Drug prevention education programs are not universal, so success in one region does not mean the program would demonstrate the desired results in a different region. The purpose of this thesis is to analyze drug prevention and education programs and their characteristics to create an appropriate model for use in rural Illinois schools. Analysis of previous research on drug prevention and education programs demonstrated success of the Say Yes First program in the reduction of adolescent illicit substance abuse in rural communities. The Say Yes First program is comprised of many characteristics of a successful drug prevention and education program and also characteristics identified by the CDC. This program was created for students in rural Colorado, so adjustments need to be made to be more appropriate for students in rural Illinois communities. The HOPE program, created by Ohio legislature, shows potential in reducing adolescent illicit substance use in rural Illinois. This program will be supplemental to the Say Yes First program and will replace portions that were originally created for rural Colorado youth. This thesis contributes to the solution aimed at ending the opioid crisis in rural America and the nation’s War on Drugs.