Substance Abuse Educational Resources

Educate Yourself and People You Know about Adolescent Substance use

Valid information for parents, teachers and teens is available at the National Institute of Drug Abuse:


Email Dr. Christian Thurstone

Christian Thurstone, medical director of the Substance Abuse Treatment, Education and Prevention (STEP) Program, frequently speaks to community groups, schools, policymakers, elected officials and an array of nonprofit organizations nationwide. To invite him to speak, please email him at


Advocate for Youth

Teens have developing brains that are more susceptible to addiction and more vulnerable to the harmful effects of substances than adults, whose brains are fully mature. Many people are profiting from the exploitation of adolescents’ vulnerability to addiction. As a community, we can significantly reduce teen substance use by strictly limiting young people’s access to substances, encouraging and promoting negative views and attitudes about substance use and providing activities that encourage kids to channel their energy and interests into positive endeavors.

Locally, the Denver Drug Strategy Commission and the Colorado chapter of Drug Endangered Children provide important information and resources. Nationally, groups such as Partnership for Drug Free America provide important advocacy to protect youth from the effects of addiction.



STEP was started in 2014 with a generous donation from the Daniels Fund. The top-quality, individual, integrated care that STEP provides costs more than typical adolescent substance treatment. Such care would not be possible without generous, ongoing donations from our supporters. Contact the Denver Health Foundation for more information about how to donate to STEP.