Effective prevention is more than "Just Say No."
Taking substance use disorders seriously means that we must be committed to prevention as much as we are invested in treatment and support. When we think of our youth, we know that they have things that are going right for them, and things that may not be working in their favor. These are called Risk Factors and Protective Factors. Effective prevention efforts means that we are focusing on both; trying to multiply and strengthen the good things and reducing the bad things. When we are able to do that we equip them to resist the temptation to use and delay the first time they use alcohol or other drugs.
Why is this important? Research shows us that if we can delay the time that a young person begins to drink, then we can significantly impact their likelihood of developing a substance use disorder. If a teenager begins drinking before the age of 14, they are 6 times more likely to have a problem with alcohol and other drugs compared to someone who begins drinking at 21. We also know that once that experimentation begins, it can bring with it a host of other negative consequences such as poor school performance, juvenile delinquency, injuries and accidents, physical or sexual assault, and memory issues.
Ten16 uses a variety of nationally recognized model programs in the schools to work with students; teaching them about the harmful effects of drugs and alcohol use, how to develop positive life skills and how to make smart choices when faced with difficult situations.