Prevention Programs

DFC Volunteers for Youth’s federally funded Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Project works to reduce substance abuse among our youth, with a particular emphasis on underage drinking and prescription drug misuse. The 10-year project focus is to eliminate factors in the community that increase the risk, and promote the elements that minimize substance abuse.  Because we are a DFC grantee, Volunteers for Youth was also awarded federal grant money allocated by the STOP Act (Sober Truth on Preventing Underage    Drinking).  This funding is dedicated to prevent and reduce alcohol use among youth age 12-20.  The youth-serving programs offered by Volunteers for Youth are an ideal setting for putting these protective factors in place and our DFC goals are interwoven throughout each of our projects. We work within the Healthy Community Partnership, a local coalition, on this project. HCP coalition members represent twelve sectors of the community standing in solidarity with the DFC and STOP Act projects as we combat substance abuse issues among youth and across the lifespan.

Dawn Holland Caitlin Turpel

Click here to read a DFC Success Story!

2015_gtg_logo_RGB-01 HLP The TSET Healthy Living Program is a community-based grant. The HLP will work to prevent and reduce tobacco use and obesity across Oklahoma. Work is targeted to places where it can make the most impact on our health:
-Cities and governments
-Community organizations and institutions (including faith-based, nonprofits, senior centers, child care, food banks and farmers markets)
The TSET Board of Directors has awarded 50 community=based organizations. These organizations serve 63 counties. The grant year began July 1, 2015.
As a Healthy Living Program grantee, Volunteers for Youth will work on sustainable changes to make our communities healthier. We will work to:
– Prevent and reduce tobacco use
– Increase physical activity
– Improve nutrition
If you have questions or want to partner with us please contact any of our HLP Staff :
Amber Brassfield Jody Reiss Alyson Short

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About PFS The Partnership for Success grant comes from the Cherokee Nation. With these funds, PFS, will address the significant issues surrounding prescription drugs and the effect on 12-25 year olds in Rogers County. Strategies will be identified after a complete community assessment is finalized and approved by Cherokee Nation and Healthy Community Partnership. Current data indicates increases in both fatal and non-fatal overdoses, past 30 day use and lifetime use of prescription narcotics and sedatives in Oklahoma. Past successes in reducing problems associated with prescription medications include working with Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics to place five (5) drug disposal boxes in Rogers County, reducing the chance for non- medical use of narcotics. New Oklahoma legislation allows non-medical personnel, law enforcement, and family members to purchase and administer Naloxone, an overdose reversal medication, through a nasal mist. We hope to include in our strategies, information and training on Naloxone, to reduce the number of accidental overdoses, and allow time for emergency medical interventions in these cases. For any questions please contact : Amy Graham

Prescription drug abuse is Oklahoma’s fastest growing drug problem.

Oklahoma Facts

  • There were nearly 3,900 unintentional poisoning deaths in Oklahoma from 2007-2012.
  • Four out of five deaths involved at least one prescription drug.
  • In 2012, Oklahoma had the fifth highest unintentional poisoning death rate in the nation (18.6 deaths per 100,000 population).
  • Anyone can be at risk of overdose if prescription drugs are not taken as directed and with a valid prescription.
  • Adults aged 35-54 had the highest death rate of any age group for both prescription and non-prescription-related overdoses.
  • Men are more likely to die of an opioid-related overdose compared to women.

If you or a loved one need help with drug dependence or addiction, in Oklahoma, call 211 for a treatment referral near you.

Signs of prescription drug misuse/abuse:

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The most commonly abused prescription drugs are:

  • Opioids, such as oxycodone (Oxycontin, Roxicodone) and those containing hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), used to treat pain
  • Anti-anxiety medications and sedatives, such as alprazolam (Xanax) and diazepam (Valium), and hypnotics, such as zolpidem (Ambien), used to treat anxiety and sleep disorders
  • Stimulants, such as methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, others), dextroamphetamine and amphetamine (Adderall XR) and dextroamphetamine (Dexedrine), used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and certain sleep disorder.

Opioid overdose – If you suspect an opioid overdose call 911 immediately!

Due to their effect on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses can cause respiratory depression and death. An opioid overdose can be identified by a combination of three signs and symptoms referred to as the “opioid overdose triad”. The symptoms of the triad are:

  • pinpoint pupils
  • unconsciousness
  • respiratory depression.

Combining opioids with alcohol and sedative medication increases the risk of respiratory depression and death, and combinations of opioids, alcohol and sedatives are often are often present in fatal drug overdoses.

Signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse
Opioid painkillers Sedatives and anti-anxiety medications Stimulants
Constipation Drowsiness Reduced appetite
Nausea Confusion Agitation
Feeling high (euphoria) Unsteady walking High body temperature
Slowed breathing rate Slurred speech Insomnia
Drowsiness Poor concentration High blood pressure
Confusion Dizziness Irregular heartbeat
Poor coordination Problems with memory Anxiety
Increased pain with higher doses Slowed breathing Paranoia


Other signs include:

  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed
  • Excessive mood swings or hostility
  • Increase or decrease in sleep
  • Poor decision-making
  • Appearing to be high, unusually energetic or revved up, or sedated
  • Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written
  • Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor



About  PICH Cherokee Nation Health services is a tribal awardee of the Partnerships to Improve Community Health Grant. This funding is administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of the Division of Community Health. The purpose of the grant is to improve health and reduce the burden of chronic diseases by working with multiple sectors of the community to create environments that support health and healthy behaviors through the implementation of population based strategies that expand the reach and health impact of policy, system, and environmental improvements. Cherokee Nation has selected priority populations located in the tribal jurisdictional service area to implement activities. They will work with multi-sector community coalitions to implement the selected interventions and strategies in the priority populations in these focus areas: tobacco use and exposure; poor nutrition; clinical and community linkages and media & communications. The ultimate long term goals of the implementation activities are to improve quality of life, avert premature death and reduce medical costs. Activities supported will include: expanding and enhancing Farm to School programs; increasing community access to local healthy food via expanding and enhancing use of farmers markets; increasing access to tobacco free school campuses and business worksites; increasing clinical and community linkages to referrals to community based health promotion programs. Caitlin Turpel