What You Can Do


Starting a chapter of Project Clean in your area is a great way to spread awareness of youth substance abuse. Project Clean is currently Arizona-based, but has received correspondence from national organizations such as the Alcohol Awareness Council. Project Clean is hoping to expand to other states and regions, and starting a chapter elsewhere would be a great way to expand youth substance abuse prevention efforts. For information on how to start a chapter, email projectcleanaz@gmail.com.


There are many days and weeks during which you can plan and orchestrate a project to spread awareness of youth substance abuse. Projects can include social media campaigns, rallies, and community presentations. Red Ribbon Week and National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week are just two examples of occasions during which you can promote awareness of the issue through various projects and events. These initiatives already provide resources for you to use in your own projects. Refer to the Red Ribbon Week website and the NDAFW website for resources, and scroll down to see specific ways you can participate in these two weeks. In addition to these two weeks, there are many other important dates in the anti-substance abuse community, so visit my Important Dates page for a list of these dates.


Global Youth Service Day is an international service event in which youth and adults from all over the world can participate by planning and joining service projects that address one or more of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. You can get involved from April 21-April 23, 2017 by planning or participating in a service project during that time period, specifically one that addresses youth substance abuse, so you can serve your community and simultaneously help prevent youth substance abuse. For more information on GYSD, click here.


Teen Court is a great diversion program and is effective in mitigating youth substance abuse, and there are lots of Teen Courts (or equivalents) throughout the USA. Click here to find a Teen Court in your area. Also, click here to see a list of state Teen Court associations to see if there is one in your state.


If you visit www.redribbon.org, you can access lots of resources that promote Red Ribbon Week 2016 (October 23-October 31, 2016). Also, you can download the free Red Ribbon Week planning guide if you sign up for an account. You can also sign the Red Ribbon pledge to stay drug-free here, and can encourage friends to do so. Visit www.redribbon.org for more information.


You can also participate in National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week, which is scheduled to occur from January 23-January 29, 2017. If you visit the NDAFW website, www.teens.drugabuse.gov/national-drug-alcohol-facts-week, you can receive more information about planning an event during NDAFW next year. There is also a drug and alcohol facts quiz that you can give to your friends and family members so they can educate themselves on the dangers of drugs and alcohol.


Presenting to your community is a great way to spread awareness of this issue. Local public libraries have free meeting rooms which are great for community presentations. If you reserve a meeting room, you can set up a presentation there and invite friends, family, and other community members to attend your presentation. Project Clean is more than happy to provide resources for your presentation, including NIDA pamphlets, prevention literature, and a list of resources for your audience.


Partnering with an established youth substance abuse prevention center is an effective way to help alleviate youth substance abuse. Many of these centers could use volunteers or may even be hiring receptionists or clerks. Refer to the Resources page to find a directory of centers in your area which may need your help. Also, there are many existing partnerships and coalitions of substance abuse prevention centers such as Pima County Community Prevention Coalition (http://www.pimacpc.org) and Pima Prevention Partnership (http://www.the partnership.us), of which Pima County Teen Court is a program. You can reach out to these types of organizations and their counterparts in your region with the goal of volunteering or gathering support for your own initiative.