Youth alcohol and other drug use is a major concern of parents, grandparents, educators, physicians, law enforcement and faith communities. It is serious, insidious and downright scary. No one wants any young person to suffer the negative consequences of using alcohol and other drugs. Likewise, no one wants young people to experience the violence of gang activity, pressures of teen parenting or the failure to succeed academically. There is power to protect young people from all of those risk factors and the power lies in developmental assets.
In order to succeed in life, youth need more than to just avoid risky behavior or negative consequences. They need to possess a comprehensive set of positive experiences, skills, and relationships in their lives. Search Institute calls these developmental assets. Developmental assets are things like support, boundaries and expectations, commitment to learning and positive values. Assets can occur outside of the child (like a caring neighborhood) or inside the child (like a positive identity). According to research conducted by Search Institute, the more assets youth possess, the less likely they are to be involved in alcohol and drug use and other risk behavior.
The Rice County Chemical Health Coalition believes that all young people need assets to be successful and that it is everyone’s job to be an asset builder. The Chemical Health Coalition sees young people not as problems to be fixed, but as resources to be promoted. The Coalition is committed to systems change, policy level work and sustainable evidence-based efforts that will increase Rice County’s capacity to support safe, healthy and successful youth.
For more information about the power of assets to protect and promote Rice County youth, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.