New Hampshire Tackles its High Rate of Substance Abuse Among Teenagers

Development of a substance abuse prevention leadership network

In 1998, New Futures, a substance abuse advocacy organization in New Hampshire, launched the Community Leadership Initiative to train local leaders as advocates for policies and programs to increase treatment and reduce teenage drinking in the state.

Key Results

  • New Futures recruited and trained 411 advocates, whom it dubbed Leadership Partners. The advocates:

    • Wrote letters to newspapers, made presentations and distributed substance abuse information to high schools, high school groups and youth organizations
    • Networked and collaborated with local law enforcement to conduct compliance checks and raise awareness of substance abuse problems
    • Educated the local medical community about state substance abuse issues.

Key Findings

  • In a 2003 survey, 97 percent of advocates said they had talked to a friend, neighbor or colleague about an issue in response to "action alerts" sent by the project.