Research shows the average age for starting to use an addictive substance in Arizona is 13. With
nine out of ten youth smoking, drinking or using other drugs prior to age 18, it is clear that
meaningful, substance abuse prevention education must be provided to our youth at earlier ages.
Substance use and associated risk-taking behaviors are driving forces underscoring poor academic
performance, rising youth violence and ultimately, reduced life outcomes among Arizona’s youth.
According to the findings from the Substance Abuse Prevention Programming Inventory (SAPPI)
survey few schools in Arizona currently provide substance abuse prevention programming to
students, and those that are able to provide programming have only started within the past one to
two years. When compared with data from the Arizona Youth Survey (AYS), it appears that there is a
substantial gap in Arizona schools in terms of the need for prevention programming and the
accessibility of these programs.
In 2016, the HFHY Program was pilot tested with 15 schools. In 2017, the program was expanded to a
total of 53 schools, with at least one school in each of the 15 Arizona counties participating. Similar to
the previous implementation, schools were selected by each County Superintendent. Participating
schools had teams of trained facilitators and coordinators to deliver the program. Although the
curriculum delivery was strictly structured, schools were given some discretion to tailor their
programs to meet the needs of their communities. School coordinators were responsible for all
recruitment, advertising and logistics activities associated with the program. Coordinators were
responsible for determining the time and date in which the final event took place. Most schools
chose to implement the program on a single evening. The event (s) took place in the schools, after
school or on Saturdays.