Schools & Youth Serving Organizations

Active involvement from school systems in substance misuse prevention is essential to effective prevention efforts in our community.  Youth involvement addresses three critical elements that researchers identify as essential to positive growth and development. 

What’s in it for Schools & Youth Serving Organizations

Opportunities to master skills and content – youth involved in substance misuse prevention coalitions learn the dynamics of substance misuse community wide and different perspectives on potential solutions; they participate in a comprehensive planning process and determine priorities for action.

Opportunities to practice service for others – young people are given options to take leadership roles and to serve the coalition and the community by representing the coalition at conferences and other events, leading youth focus groups.

Opportunities to be an active, engaged learner – youth coalition members get involved in carrying out strategies, such as advocating to the school board, city council or county planning commission, developing substance misuse awareness information for teens, writing letters to the editor of their newspaper and planning youth awareness activities.

Together, schools and youth serving organizations involved with local substance misuse prevention coalitions can achieve the following:

  • expand funding for youth projects and opportunities
  • increase awareness of substances among youth and provide an avenue for youth to learn refusal skills
  • develop youth leadership training
  • increase youth recruitment and retention in local coalitions,
  • advocate for a youth voice on community boards, councils and commissions, and
  • ensure that youth have a valued and meaningful role in developing community policy and practices and that they are integrally involved in the decisions that affect them.
Why Should You Care?

Addressing substance misuse will:

  • Leadership development
  • Community outreach
  • Mission fulfillment
Why You Need to Help

Addressing substance misuse will:

  • Engage and involve youth
  • Build bridges to the larger community
  • Enhance your credible and influential community institution

Opportunities For Collaboration


  • Provide ongoing face-to-face communication, with young people
  • Prevention materials in relation to positive youth development
  • Publicize and promote positive family and youth activities

Training and Education

  • Provide leadership development opportunities
  • Conduct staff training on emerging drug trends and prevention
  • Provide facilitators and mentors for youth


  • Conduct outreach to rural youth
  • Support new and existing summer camps
  • Help connect to resources in broader community
  • Expand collaborative youth projects to the broader community
  • Conduct youth-led focus groups

Community Change

  • Promote civic participation
  • Link to social change agenda
  • Increase civic involvement by young people
  • Help public boards and commissions involve youth in meaningful way
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