Alternatives’ youth-led prevention programs were created to address the use and abuse of alcohol and drugs on a local level. High school students work together to inform and educate their peers and community, initiating a dialogue about the risks, attitudes, and behaviors related to alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. Students develop valuable skills in video making, print making, and marketing to produce a media communications campaign aimed at impacting their community with positive messaging.

The goal of Alternatives’ Youth Prevention Education is to increase prevention-
related drug knowledge and resistance skills, ultimately enhancing protective factors and reversing, or reducing risk factors. YPE is delivered through an evidence-based curriculum with approved additional session(s) addressing opioids. Our YPE is taught in two years with a core and booster curriculum. In order for YPE to be effective, participants must attend 80% of the classes.

Alternatives utilizes the All Stars curriculum to enhance and develop positive characteristics in young people, with the aim to prevent substance misuse by delaying the onset of use in regards to alcohol, tobacco, and other Drugs (ATOD); premature sexual activity; fighting; bullying and delinquency.

Youth Empowering Change (YEC)

  • Community-based YAC for High School Aged Youth
  • Focus on Eating Disorders, Sexual Assault Awareness, Suicide Prevention, and Substance Use Prevention

Youth Nation

  • Community-based Youth Advisory Committee for Middle School Aged Youth
  • Focus on Homelessness, Bullying, and Substance Use Prevention

A Youth Advisory Committee is a formal meeting of young people that provides representation, a “voice” for youth in the community.

The purpose of a Youth Advisory Committee is to strengthen youth participation in the development and implementation of community-based substance use prevention services. This means involving youth in planning and decision-making that affects them, their peers, their community, and others.

The Youth Advisory Committees are engaged in the following services, at minimum, to ensure all services and activities are relevant for the target population:

Environmental scan of Marijuana paraphernalia and retail education services (CSUPS)

National Prevention Week (the 3rd week in May)

Alternatives’ Communication Campaigns address alcohol, tobacco, and other drug issues by utilizing a purposeful promotional strategy to change knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in a specific, intended audience.

Communication Campaigns promote a specific message through marketing and advertising techniques. Here are a few of our recent campaigns:

The “Clear the Air” Communication Campaign is designed to raise awareness of the effects of marijuana use on high school youth while demonstrating the 30 day marijuana use among high school youth in Chicago, IL. This campaign also encourages informed decision making in regards to marijuana use among teens.

The “Non Vaping” Communication Campaign is designed to raise awareness of the effects of vaping use on middle school youth while demonstrating the 30 day, 90 day, and 1 year vaping use among young teens in Chicago, IL. This campaign also encourages informed decision making in regards to vaping use among young teens.