Press Release

Youth to Youth receives $1 Million donation from CareSource to strengthen Ohio’s youth and their communities

February 23rd, 2023 | 3 min read

(Columbus, OH, February 23, 2023) – Youth to Youth, a program of CompDrug, has received a $1 million donation from CareSource to strengthen Ohio’s youth and bring evidence-based youth development, and drug and alcohol prevention programming to any community regardless of their ability to pay.

Youth to Youth is unique in its comprehensive, youth-led approach to prevention which focuses on empowering young people to create positive, community change.

“Because the majority of our audience is under 18, the youth we work with often feel their voice isn't heard” says Cheryl Sells, Director of Youth Prevention for CompDrug. “It’s our job as adults to provide the skills, support, and the platform to show them otherwise. Through Youth to Youth, young people learn how to create community-driven change and become an effective part of the solution, ultimately changing how a young person views themselves and their future.”

The support provided by CareSource will allow Youth to Youth to reach more young people with its direct prevention messaging and train communities to sustain this kind of evidence-based prevention into the future. This will expand Ohio's capacity to deliver evidence-informed prevention programming over time.

“CareSource knows the importance of partnering with local organizations who are already doing great work for Ohioans,” said Steve Ringel, President of CareSource Ohio. “We are proud to support CompDrug as they work to support Ohio’s young people and strengthen the prevention capacity across the state.”

“The challenge is ensuring programs are accessible- reaching those who need it most- while also being sustainable,” says CompDrug CEO, Dustin Mets. “Ultimately, we want communities to be able to do this work without us. The partnership with CareSource is miraculous in that it does both; we are able to provide free, evidence-based prevention programs for communities and schools while also using our expertise and decades of experience to train communities in how to keep it going.”

CompDrug, one of the largest nonprofit Opioid Treatment Programs in Ohio, is a leader in behavioral health, offering a continuum of addiction services from prevention, through outpatient treatment and into long-term recovery.

The youth prevention program, Youth to Youth, pioneered a model of drug and alcohol prevention that empowers youth to take a lead role in creating and designing the programs that are delivered “for peers, by peers.” This youth-development and leadership approach builds assets and reduces risk factors that contribute to risky behaviors like substance misuse. Hundreds of communities in the United States and abroad have chosen the Y2Y model to initiate or improve their positive prevention programming.

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