Prevention Services

The Positive Youth Development Program (PYDP) promotes healthy choices for youth ages 10-17 through education, awareness of health issues, policy change, community collaboration, and evidence-based programs that support substance abuse prevention.

Looking to connect with our Positive Youth Development Team?

You can reach us at:

Sherrine Peyton ( or 847-285-4520), Manager of Positive Youth Development

Nicole Barrett ( or 847-285-4517), Substance Abuse Prevention Services (SAPS) Team Lead

Funding provided in whole or in part by the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH).

To learn more about the Communities for Positive Youth Development Coalition, visit their website at

Community-Based Substance Abuse Prevention

The DHS Bureau of Substance Abuse Prevention provides leadership and resources to the Illinois community-based alcohol, tobacco and other drug abuse (ATOD) prevention system. As part of its duties, the Bureau sets direction, defines trends, promotes evidence-based prevention approaches, and provides funding, training, technical assistance and monitoring for quality assurance.

The Substance Abuse Prevention provider system in Illinois has a history of quality services. Its focus over the last decade has been to transform the ATOD prevention system from one based on activities to one based on outcomes. Today, evidence-based programs, practices, and policies are at the core of all provider work plan efforts. Providers are expected to adhere to the outcome-based planning process, and are also required to select strategies and program models that have produced some level of evidence that they will be effective in achieving their intended outcomes.

Illinois’s ATOD Prevention community network of 127 providers is one of the Nation’s most comprehensive. It includes a mix of local, regional, and statewide programs housed in both public and private agency settings.

Comprehensive Community Based Providers (CBPs) deliver programming in their service area that targets the community at large with emphasis on impacting the environments in which young people live. Evidence-based approaches that target youth, their peers, families, school environment, and community are implemented as part of a comprehensive prevention plan. Emphasis is placed on building local partnerships to implement environmental approaches that change community norms and policies, and increase the community’s capacity to sustain effective efforts.

Evidence-Based Prevention

Evidence-based Prevention includes strategies or programs that have shown through some level of evidence that they are effective. The minimal level being a single pre/post evaluation. These programs are not held to as rigorous an evaluation standard as are those that are classified by the distinction of being Science or Research-based.

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of cases of mental illness begin by age 14.

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