the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness
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Tackling Youth Substance
Abuse (TYSA)

The Need is Great, The Time is Now…

Youth Substance Abuse on Staten Island

  • Staten Island has the highest proportion of youth who binge drink in NYC.
  • Staten Island also has the highest percent of youth who have used prescription medication without a prescription in NYC in the past year.

The effects of youth substance abuse are devastating for our youth, parents, families, and community.  The need for action is urgent. The well-being and future of our community is at stake.

NYC 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)
NYC 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS)

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A Community Coming Together

The Tackling Youth Substance Abuse (TYSA) Initiative is a cross-sector coalition aimed at driving major improvements in youth substance abuse on Staten Island, with the ultimate goals of decreased use of alcohol and prescription drugs and youth making healthy choices overall. The Staten Island Foundation has generously supported this initiative from its inception in early 2011.

TYSA is a dynamic partnership of both private and non-profit organizations; city and state government agencies; philanthropists; parents, teachers and teens, many of who have been working to combat alcohol and drug abuse for years. The TYSA Initiative is different because it focuses all of its member’s efforts into achieving the same goals. Staten Island doctors, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, drug treatment providers, hospitals, educators and youth organizations are all working together to help one another, and the whole community,  tackle youth substance abuse.

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TYSA is not intended to be a new “program” nor an attempt to compete with any of our community’s noteworthy health initiatives. Our aim is to build strong public awareness of the urgent need to tackle youth substance abuse, help to better align current efforts and fill necessary gaps, and create a strong strategic framework for improved collective impact.

What Does TYSA Do?

  • Educates community on substance abuse issues (Parent Workshops, Community Forums, Media Campaigns)
  • Collects and shares data and personal stories  (Focus Groups, Surveys, Testimonials)
  • Trains professionals (Pharmacists, Physicians, Youth Service Providers, Beverage Servers, Business Owners)
  • Provides opportunities for youth and community ownership of issue (Youth Council, Workgroups, Townhall Meetings)
  • Connects community with needed resources (Fact Sheets, Web Resources, Parent Toolkit, Treatment Resource Guide)
  • Advocates for systems-level change at the local, state, and federal level (Treatment Services, Prescription Monitoring Programs).

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History and Organization of TYSA

This effort began in early 2011 when Take Care Staten Island, the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness, and the Staten Island Foundation convened people interested in addressing community health issues with the assistance of FSG, a global non-profit consulting firm.  After looking at community health data, it became clear that Staten Island youth, when compared to the rest of NYC, were burdened by substance abuse issues - specifically prescription drug abuse and underage drinking.  A high-level strategic framework was adopted in November 2011, including a common agenda with problem data, goals, and indicators, and a blueprint for implementation covering organizational structures and processes to transform the plan into action thus forming the Tackling Youth Substance Abuse Initiative. In May 2012, staff was hired and the Initiative was formally launched in September at a standing room only event at Staten Island’s Borough Hall.

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TYSA is led by a Steering Committee comprised of over 30 organizations and individuals from the non-profit, private, and government sectors.

Reporting to the steering committee are four work groups:

  • Social Norms
    Creating  data-driven messaging and education to target the attitudes and behaviors of parents, youth, and community members who influence youth substance abuse. 
  • Retail and Marketplace Availability
    Focusing on reducing the retail and marketplace availability of alcohol and prescription drugs and developing policies that impacts the availability of alcohol.
  • Continuum of Care
    Ensuring that appropriate screening, referral, treatment, and recovery services reach all Staten Island youth in need.
  • Policy and Advocacy
    Working to develop and advance a policy platform that impacts availability of substances, quality of treatment, and other key facets of youth substance abuse.

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How Do I Get Involved?

TYSA Interset Form
Download .pdf file
Join the TYSA Community Network to stay informed about issues, upcoming events, and volunteer opportunities in the community.

TYSA Information Sheet
Download .pdf file
Help spread the word by letting others on Staten Island know about this important effort.

Share Your Story Form
Download .pdf file
Share your story. We are collecting stories from Staten Islanders who have experienced substance abuse firsthand – either themselves or a  loved one. Share your story to spread hope and remind others that substance abuse impacts everyone.

What can businesses do to help the efforts of the TYSA Initiative?
Download .pdf file
Consider how you or your organization may support the strategies developed by the workgroups. For example, you might host a parent workshop, help recruit youth members or provide information to your employees about prevention, treatment and recovery from substance abuse.
Parent Workshop form
Download Parent Workshop Request .pdf file
Treatment Resource Guide
Download Treatment Resource Guide .pdf file

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Youth Substance Abuse on Staten Island

A Community Coming Together

What Does TYSA Do?

History and Organization of TYSA?

How Do I get Involved?

Steering Committee

Resources

Steering Committee

Learn more...