Youth Substance Use Prevention 

Youth Substance Use Prevention

Youth Substance Use Prevention – Community Led Youth Resilience and Prevention Efforts

Preventing youth substance use is a community wide effort! The partnerships for success grant (PFS) supports locally led projects to prevent youth use of alcohol, marijuana, and methamphetamines in the six Southwest District Health counties. In addition to focusing on the reduction of substance use among youth, SWDH prioritizes serving rural and frontier regions, Hispanic and Latinx populations, and Veterans and their families. The goals of the funding are to utilize partnerships to make environmental and policy changes that address community specific needs, as well as to support the implementation of evidence-based substance use prevention programs.

On this page, you’ll find resources and tools that you can use to support young people in making the choice to be substance free.  You’ll also find information about projects that the PFS grant is currently working on or has supported in the past.

Parent Resources

Funding Opportunities

SWDH wants to support community-led projects to support the development of resilient youth, families, and communities and to prevent youth substance use! Funding is available for Environmental Projects (lighting, updated signs, etc.), 3rd Millennium Prevention & Intervention Program and Policy, Alternative Activities, and Professional Development/Trainings for youth-serving professionals. Read the  full solicitation here and apply for funding here! Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and the application will be open until all funds have been allocated. The priority deadline for applications is October 7, 2022.

Want to prevent youth substance use at your school? Southwest District Health (SWDH) and Idaho Drug Free Youth (IDFY) are partnering to support schools in preventing substance use!

We are sponsoring the i2i Workshop and Policy Program, and Chapter start-up and curriculum fees to approximately 5 schools! Read the description and the required school commitment below to learn more.

i2i Workshop and Policy Program: Workshop-based program that educates students on their role in changing school and community norms. Youth are separated into groups where they work with skilled facilitators in interactive activities that encourage personal skill-building while educating them on how to change community norms. Youth are then brought together as a group for discussion and large group empowerment activities. The secondary aspect of i2i is 1:1 coaching with schools on how to implement school-based policies to lower substance use and educational materials for parents on supporting their youth around substance use prevention activities. IDFY recommends implementing the i2i workshop with grades 8, 9, or 10.

IDFY Youth Chapters: Implementation of a youth-based group in a chapter setting, in the classroom, or through a community organization. The chapter program is a club style group that is led and run by you! The chapter program creates an impact in schools by enhancing leadership skills of students and encourages strong relationships between all students. The curriculum also includes basic substance education. The curriculum spans nine months, with one lesson each week. Lessons range from 15-20 minutes with an associated fun activity. Topics covered include basic drug education, alcohol, tobacco, vaping/nicotine, prescription medications, fentanyl, hallucinogens, inhalants, and mental health. One-one coaching for an adult facilitator is available.

Read the full description of these activities here.

Training Opportunity

Want to improve your ability to talk to adolescents about substance use?  Request a “How to talk to adolescents about substance use” SBIRT training for your youth-serving organization by completing this brief application.

If you’re a community member who is interested in partnering on a project to prevent youth substance use in your community, please contact the Partnerships for Success project coordinator Tara Woodward at

If you are interested in requesting prescription drug disposal pouches, prescription lockboxes, or other substance use prevention materials, please submit a request here.

  • Distribution of Prescription Drug Disposal Pouches and Medication Lockboxes
  • Be the Parents campaign and educational information dissemination
  • Youth Mental Health Screening and Referrals
  • Caldwell Mayor’s Youth Advisory Council Sticker Shock Campaign
  • Botvin Lifeskills for Parents Community Classes
  • DITEP Trainings
  • Tall Cop Says Stop “High in Plain Sight” Drug Trends Presentation
  • Outlast ID Campaign

While youth substance use has declined over the years, there is still work to be done to bring those numbers down further. We know this because in 2021, youth in western Idaho reported that:

  • 34% have had at least 1 drink of alcohol
  • 13% used marijuana
  • 10% misused prescription drugs
  • 18% used a vape pen or e-cigarette
  • .6% used methamphetamines

Underage Alcohol Consumption:

Youth most often report drinking alcohol at home (54%), and getting alcohol from a friend (41%), or family member (37%) for free.


Youth report smoking (82%), vaporizing (34%), or dabbing (36%) marijuana. They most often get it for free from a friend or family member (44%). Others report buying it (29%) or taking it (13%) from a family member or friend. 14% report buying it from a marijuana dispensary, and 30% purchased from a dealer or stranger.


Youth who misused prescriptions most often used them at home (74%), and either were given (16%), or took them (21%) from a family member or friend. 52% reported misusing their own prescription, and 23% reported getting them “some other way”.

Risk Factors for Substance Use:

14.9% of youth reported that they felt depressed in the last 30 days, and 17% considered suicide in the past year.

Parents are one of the strongest protective factors against youth substance use. Youth reported that in the past 12 months, 60% had spoken with their parents/caregivers about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use. In the past 6 months, only 48% of youth reported having a discussion with their parents about specific things they could do to stay away from drugs, and 54% had discussed family rules or expectations about using drugs.

*Data from the 2021, Idaho Healthy Youth Survey. Survey respondents are high school students (6th, 8th grade, 10th grade, and 12th grade), and lived in Health District 3 and 4.

If you are interested in collaborating with us to prevent and reduce substance use in your community, please contact Tara Woodward, at or (208) 477-4998.

If you are interested in requesting prescription drug disposal pouches, prescription lockboxes, or other substance use prevention materials, please make a request here.