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Youth Taking Charge (YTC) is the youth component of the HEAAL Coalition. These youth volunteer their time to become strong productive leaders in the Community. Our YTC members use their leadership skills to promote community awareness and advocacy which addresses youth related substance misuse prevention among their peers. The training received also equips the team on how to engage other youth on related topics such as suicide and bullying.

Youth Conversations on the effects of:



  • By the age of 15, nearly 35% of teens have had at least 1 drink
  • By the age of 18 nearly 85% of teens have taken 1 drink
  • 11% of alcohol in the United States is consumed by youth between 12-20 years
  • About 1 in 7 teens binge drinks, yet only 1 in 100 parents believe his or her teen binge drinks.




  • The teen brain is still developing and it is especially vulnerable to drug use
  • Heavy Marijuana use by Teens is Linked to:
    • Educational Outcomes (lower grades and exam scores/less likely to graduate/less likely to enroll in college)
    • Life outcomes (lower satisfaction with life, more likely to earn lower income)



Rx Drug Data

  • The number of deaths from prescription drugs has passed that of heroin and cocaine combined.
  • Effects of Prescription Drug Abuse cause changes in the reward system decreasing normal level of pleasurable activity. Personality changes creating psychosis from otherwise normal behaviors.
  • Opioids (Sleepiness, Confusion, Nausea, Breathing problems, and Coma.)
  • Depressants (Slurred speech, shallow breathing leading to overdosing and sudden death, disorientation and lack of coordination.)
  • Stimulants (Increased blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, dangerously high body temperatures, decreased appetite/sleep causing poor health, Intense anger and paranoid episodes & higher risks for other medical complications due to high dosing from tolerance build up.)


YTC Council Leadership Training

  • Module I:
    • How to conduct meeting
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
    • Communication-Presenting /Listening.
  • Module II:
    • Setting and Achieving Goals
    • Decision Making
    • Stress/Conflict Resolution
  • Module III:
    • Leadership—Lead/Follow
    • Community Awareness
    • Community Advocacy

Educational Opportunities

  • YTC Leadership Training
  • Basketball Camps
  • Digital Media Arts Camp
  • CADCA Leadership Forums (Community Anti Drug Coalitions of America)



Red Ribbon Week Photo One