After the 2019 LeadOn Conference, the Ketchikan team focused on educating their peers about the harm of substance misuse, with a particular focus on building social-emotional and coping skills. These students identified that substance misuse is connected to unhealthy relationships in multiple ways. The person causing harm in a relationship may encourage or force their partner to misuse substances, and those being harmed may turn to substances to cope with the stress of an abusive relationship.
Ketchikan LeadOn youth worked with the school administration to host informational assemblies on substance use within the Ketchikan High School population and highlighted local resources to prevent or treat substance misuse, including primary care medical providers. Additionally, LeadOn youth did weekly announcements sharing substance use facts and created a sticker campaign designed to discourage substance use and encourage healthy coping skills and positive choices. More assemblies were planned along with an end-of-project picnic, but these events had to be canceled because of COVID-19. However, the LeadOn team was able to put together a final pamphlet on substance use which included facts on the issue, resources to prevent substance misuse, and ways to support those affected. This pamphlet and the stickers were included in the school district’s free lunch program to reach as many families and high school students as possible.