Preventing Substance Abuse

At YSS, Prevention Specialists work to promote substance-free lifestyle choices through education of the health consequences related to using ATOD (alcohol, tobacco, and other drug) products, availability of cessation services, creation of substance-free policies and promotion of awareness events. Prevention Specialists are available to provide one-time educational opportunities (or as a seminar series) for community groups about substance-related topics and assist in the development of ATOD-free policies.

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Classroom Curriculum

YSS strives to provide classroom programming that is age appropriate and research-based for young people.

Too Good For Drugs - Third through Fifth grades
This school-based Mendez Foundation prevention program is designed to reduce risk factors and enhance protective factors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drug (ATOD) use among students. There are ten sessions, each being 45 minutes in length. In addition, the curriculum also emphasizes goal setting, decision making and effective communications.

Tobacco & Substance Abuse Prevention 

YSS is an IDPH Community Partnership grantee.  Prevention Specialists work in Boone and Story Counties to act as a local resource for healthcare providers, businesses, schools, and community members. We work to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, provide education on tobacco cessation programs, and help reduce initiation of tobacco use. Activities in Boone and Story Counties include:

  • Providing education to healthcare providers on Quitline Iowa
  • Working with youth on education of tobacco prevention topics and how to educate their peers on these issues
  • Working with interested businesses in the creation of tobacco and nicotine free workplace policies and education about cessation services
  • Being a resource for local businesses on compliance with the Iowa Smoke Free Air Act
  • Providing assistance to interested childcare centers and preschools regarding education and creation of tobacco and nicotine free policies
  • Being a resource for community members and organizations regarding education on tobacco use prevention topics

Project ALERT - Sixth through Eighth grades
Project ALERT is a nationally recognized RAND Corporation middle school substance abuse program that gives students insight, understanding and actual skills for resisting substance abuse. This science-based prevention program is designed for middle school youth to prevent the onset and reduce the frequency of ATOD use. There are eleven sessions implemented during the first year, each being 40 minutes. In the second year, there are three booster sessions, each being 45 minutes.

Be in the Know
  • For help to quit tobacco and Nicotine use, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).
  • 25% of US adults are living with mental illness and consume 40% of the cigarettes sold in the US. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Electronic smoking devices (ESDs) emit an aerosol, not a “water vapor,” that contains a high concentration of ultrafine particles and low levels of toxins known to cause cancer. Water is not an ingredient in ESDs, this is a claim made by manufacturers and supporters. Source: Iowa Department of Public Health
  • In a 2012 study, individuals who started using cannabis in adolescence and used it for years afterward showed an average decline in IQ of 8 points when their age 13 and age 38 IQ tests were compared. Quitting pot did not appear to reverse the loss.  Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States. Although drinking by persons under the age of 21 is illegal, people aged 12 to 20 years drink 11% of all alcohol consumed in the United States. More than 90% of this alcohol is consumed in the form of binge drinks. Binge drinking is defined as 4 or more drinks during a single occasion for a female and 5 or more drinks during a single occasion for a male. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported that 20% of youth aged 12 to 20 years drink alcohol and 13% reported binge drinking in the past 30 days. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Learn More

Schools and community groups can request informational and educational presentations regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drugs; child abuse prevention; youth employment; and youth development.  These are part of a comprehensive approach used to address concerns in the community.

These programs are often longer in length, but in return, students are able to integrate a greater level of knowledge and positive behavior change.  For more information or to request a presentation, please call Prevention Services at 515-233-3141.

Reach out today!

Please feel free to contact us with questions or for more information. If your request is urgent in nature, we request you contact us by phone at 515.233.3141.