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substance and addiction prevention branch

Opioid and substance use prevention resources for youth.

Youth (ages 10–17) experience a very important stage in brain development. Using drugs during this stage of brain development may cause brain changes that have long-term consequences. Most adults who meet the criteria for having a substance use disorder began using drugs as teenagers and young adults. Drug misuse can result in dependency, overdose, or other negative health effects. If you are concerned that you or someone in your life may be misusing drugs, there are resources available to help. It is important to know that asking for help is normal. Below are resources available to help you understand substance misuse, substance use disorder, how to talk to friends who may be struggling with substance misuse, and get help.​

Save a Friend's Life: Find Naloxone

Tips to Prevent Youth Opioid Misuse (PDF)

This guide provides information about tips about opioids, including what to do if you have extra pills around the house, and how to tell if a friend is misusing opioids. Source: Campus Drug PreventionUnited States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Learn the basics about drugs

This website provides an overview of different drugs, such as prescription opioids, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Learn the science behind drugs and addiction

Scientists from the National Institute on Drug Abuse answer common questions youth ask about drug use and addiction. Click on each topic below to watch a video.

Guide: Starting the Conversation (PDF)

This guide includes conversation starters for talking to a friend who is showing signs of substance misuse. Source: SAMHSA

Youth Engaged 4 Change

This website provides youth-focused resources and opportunities to inspire empower youth to make a difference in their lives and in the world around them by improving their knowledge and leadership skills:

Treatment Locator

Confidentially and anonymously find information for substance misuse treatment and mental health support. Source: SAMHSA

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