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Voices of Youth. Illustration of a person standing outside speaking through a bullhorn.

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Voices of Youth

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Youth and young adults are powerful agents of change for substance use prevention. SAMHSA’s youth engagement initiatives aim to:

  • Give youth and young adults a voice and platform to inform and influence the development of substance use prevention programs that speak to them and meet them where they are;
  • Engage young people in peer activities that educate and empower them to make good choices about alcohol and drugs, and their future; and
  • Provide opportunities for youth and young adults to develop leadership skills and learn about careers in prevention and other behavioral health fields.

For more information about SAMHSA’s youth engagement initiatives, contact Courtney Esparza, Public Health Advisor and Youth Engagement Lead, at courtney.esparza@samhsa.hhs.gov.

Upcoming Youth Events

Graphics of 4 youths with their hands up. Text reads: FentAlert: Empowering youth to safeguard against fentanyl.

FentAlert: Empowering Youth for Safer Choices - SAMHSA Fentanyl Awareness Youth Challenge

This challenge seeks the best ideas from youth (age 14-18) to educate on the dangers of fentanyl and prevent drug overdose deaths. SAMHSA wants you to pitch your idea that educates youth in your community (among your friends, or at school, or within an organization to which you belong) about fentanyl and fake pills and prevents overdose. Your idea could include any innovative ways to reach youth on this topic like social media posts, vlogs, podcasts, video journals, etc.

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Resources for Youth

Get free tip sheets, flyers, publications, and mobile apps about substance misuse, mental health, and other related topics!

Find Resources for Middle School Youth. A group of middle-school-aged children posing for a picture Find Resources for High School Youth. A group of high school students walking in a school hallway Find Resources for Young Adults. A group of young adults posing for a picture

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Social Media

SAMHSA Youth Voices Panel: Self-Love, Wellness, Prevention Webinar

Hear from SAMHSA’s youth leaders about how they practice self-care, promote their well-being, and respect themselves to make decisions that are good for them. Get ideas to take action in your own community.

#MyPreventionStory

Group of young people smiling. #MyPreventionStory

Take part in #MyPreventionStory as a way to get involved in National Prevention Week!

Use the hashtag on social media and share how and why you are helping to prevent substance misuse, taking care of your mental health, and helping others do the same.

SAMHSA Pinkie Promise

Take the SAMHSA Pinkie Promise as a pledge to yourself and your friends to take care of your well-being:

  • I will respect myself and will make decisions that are good for me.Illustration of two hands with their pinky fingers intertwined. SAMHSA Voices of Youth.
  • I won’t let drug and alcohol use change or control my plans or my path for the future.
  • I will spread the word that any drug ingested that doesn’t come from a reputable pharmacy could be a fake pill or contaminated with another substance that is often fatal.
  • I will participate in healthy hobbies or other activities that I enjoy and that connect me with friends and mentors.

Take pictures of yourself and your friends doing the pinkie promise, or with a pinkie promise graphic, and post to your social media, or send them to Courtney Esparza, SAMHSA’s Youth Engagement Lead.

Last Updated

Last Updated: 04/24/2023

Last Updated