Healthy and drug free youth…



The Arbor Drug Free Communities (DFC) Coalition began in 2014 when the Arbor Coalition was awarded a five-year SAMHSA Grant to focus on community prevention and education regarding youth substance abuse in the Ukiah area.  The Arbor DFC Coalition has two goals: 

1) to build coalition capacity to provide community education regarding youth substance abuse and

2) to reduce youth substance abuse. 

Talking about alcohol…

33% of Ukiah 11th graders reported consuming alcohol at least once in the past 30 days of taking the survey.

17% of Ukiah 11th graders reported binge drinking at lease once within 30 days of taking the survey.

The trend in alcohol abuse has decreased among our local youth, but the DFC is committed to reducing these numbers and will continue to promote “Just Wait” when it comes to consuming alcohol.


Prescription drugs


Prescription Drug Abuse is real

Nationwide, ED visits for the misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals alone increased 148% from 2004-2011, and ED visits for pharmaceuticals combined with other illicit drugs increased 132%. ED visits for misuse of Oxycodone™ products in particular increased 263%. On a typical day in the U.S. in 2011, 74 teens aged 12-17 visited an ED for misusing or abusing pain relievers, and 26 of these visits involved narcotic pain relievers.

“Parents need to be aware that the family medicine cabinet and the Internet have become today’s back alley drug dealers.”  -Michele Leonhart, DEA

“Parents need to be aware that the family medicine cabinet and the Internet have become today’s back alley drug dealers.”

-Michele Leonhart, DEA



High school students in Mendocino County are getting high on prescription drugs. 22% of Mendocino 11th graders report ever using prescription painkillers (like Vicodin™ or OxyContin™) without a doctor’s note, and 18% of 9th graders report having done so.

Prescription (Rx) drugs can be just as deadly as illegal drugs and, right now, America is facing an explosive prescription drug abuse problem. In 2011, 50.5% of Emergency Department (ED) visits for drug misuse or abuse involved pharmaceutical drugs. From 2004-2011, ED visits from pharmaceuticals only increased 148%, and visits for pharmaceuticals combined with illicit drugs increased 132% in that time.

Prescription medication abuse and misuse is a national epidemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • 90% of drug addictions start in the teenage years

  • 1 in 6 teens have used a prescription drug in order to get high

  • Two-Thirds of teens who abuse pain relievers say they get them without a prescription from family members and friends

  • According to California Healthy Kids Survey 2013-14 and coalition data from 2015, Ukiah High School students are reporting easy access to alcohol, marijuana and prescription drugs in their homes and from their friends.

  • 68% of high school students in Ukiah report having alcohol and/or drug use

  • 24% report binge drinking at least once within 30 days of taking the survey.

  • 28% report having smoked marijuana 4 or more times

    However, reports from youth themselves, law enforcement, and educators indicate that these reported numbers are low.


real stories from real people

“I was so convinced that he was not using, it became a sort of joke between us – as he would leave home at the end of a weekend, I would frequently say, ‘Jason, don’t do drugs.’ ‘I know, Mom,’ he would say, ‘I won’t.’ But he did.

— Linda Surks, whose 19-year-old son Jason died of a Rx drug overdose

“Three-quarters of his brain had been damaged. Aaron is now a quadriplegic, unable to speak, confined to a wheel chair

— Sherrie Rubin, whose son Aaron had a heart attack and two strokes after overdosing on OxyContin

Signs of possible abuse

  • Your child becomes more secretive

  • Your child has unexplained changes in personal appearance or has trouble in school.

  • Empty pill bottles or missing pills, unfamiliar pills, or empty cough medicine containers.


  • Slurred speech

  • Flushed skin

  • Pupils that appear small

  • Personality changes

  • Mood swings (irritability, excessive energy or sleepiness)

  • Unusual forget-fullness

  • Excessive sweating

  • Loss of appetite

  • Sleep avoidance

  • Abnormal clumsiness


Cannabis (marijuana, weed, pot, etc.) may affect your educational & professional goals and how successful you are in life. Because your health and future are important to you, here are some things you should learn about how cannabis use influences your body and brain.

Cannabis Affects Your Health 

  • Like cigarettes, smoking cannabis is harmful to your lungs. The smoke from cannabis has many of the same toxins and chemicals found in cigarette smoke, and when inhaled it can increase your risk of developing lung problems.1,2

  • The way cannabis is grown has changed and some plants now have higher levels of THC. High levels of THC can lead to poisoning, especially with edibles like cookies.3,4,5

  • Regular cannabis use has been linked to anxiety, depression, and suicide, especially for teens with a family history of mental illness.6,7,8

  • Cannabis use increases the risk of schizophrenia, although it is not common. The more cannabis you use, the higher the risk.9

  • Using cannabis as a teen can lead to cannabis dependence and increase your risk for using
    or abusing other substances and illegal drugs.

Cannabis Affects Your Brain

  • Your brain is still developing. Using cannabis regularly in your teens and early 20s may lead to physical changes in your brain.12

  • Research shows that when you use cannabis
    your memory, learning, and attention are harmed. Some studies suggest a permanent impact as well.

Cannabis Impacts Your Goals

The harmful affects of cannabis on your brain may impact your educational and professional goals and how successful you are in life.15 Research shows that if you start using cannabis before you are 18 or use cannabis regularly you may be at higher risk for:

  • Skipping classes

  • Getting lower grades

  • Dropping out of school

  • Unemployment or not getting the job that you’d like to have


what can you do?



There is a growing body of research that shows that parents are central to preventing adolescent substance abuse. In fact, kids themselves say that losing their parents’ trust and respect is the most important reason not to use drugs. As a parent, your actions do matter. When you suspect, or know, that your child has used drugs, take action to stop it as soon as you can- it may be the most important step you ever take...


While many Mendocino County youth are connecting with their parents about drug use—35% of 11th graders report speaking with their parents about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use—we can do better.

•Ask about their experiences at school, friends' houses, and parties.
•Share what you’ve learned about the dangers of Rx misuse and abuse. •Remember, you are the greatest influence on your child.




-Put medications in a locked drawer or separate lock box.

-Make a list of the medicines you have and regularly count the pills in containers.

-Inform your friends and family about the danger of prescription drugs and suggest they secure their medications. More than 70% of teens who abuse prescription painkillers say they get them from relatives and friends.


•Contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office in Ukiah by calling (707) 463-4411 to learn more about Operation Medicine Cabinet, a disposal program in Ukiah, Willits, and Fort Bragg.

•The Drug Enforcement Agency has a website with information on local collection sites:

•The Fort Bragg Police Department, at 250 Cypress St., has a prescription drug drop box on site for 24/7 disposal of unused medications.

•Don’t flush! Research has found that prescription drugs are already present in our nation’s water supply, and may cause environmental harm.

Arbor Drug Free Communities Coalition_LOGO PRINT-01.jpg

Thank You to our Coalition Members

The DFC Coalition is made up of Redwood Community Services (RCS) staff, and the dedicated community members who have joined together to work toward achieving the DFC goals. Membership includes individuals from public, private, and governmental entities such as: County Prevention and Planning Unit, Mendocino County Youth Project, Safe Rx Mendocino Coalition, Mendocino County Office of Education, Adventist Health Ukiah Valley, South Valley High School, Pinoleville Pomo Nation, Slam Dunk Pizza, Ukiah Aikido, Flow Kana, Mendocino Community Health Clinic, Mendocino County Juvenile Probation, The Arbor Youth Resource Center and Youth Board, and other youth supporting agencies in the Ukiah Valley.

Coalition Success

  • Community Forum on Marijuana and the Youth Brain reaching over 80 health & human services providers and over 150 youth, parents and community members

  • Education and Prevention groups, serving over 500 youth, provided in the Ukiah middle and high schools regarding the dangers of abusing alcohol and other drugs and self-medication

  • Sponsorship and funding for an annual drug-free youth event in Ukiah serving over 500 youth— Youth Action Party (YAP)

  • Media releases & brochure development and distribution regarding youth misuse of prescription drugs

  • FREE Parent support bags & medication lock bags to reduce youth access to marijuana & prescription drugs in the home. (available at The Arbor Youth Resource Center now!)


Kimberly Mallory
Arbor DFC Coalition Director
(707) 272-2762

Our Offices are located at:

The Arbor Youth Resource Center
810 N. State Street
Ukiah, CA 95482


The Arbor DFC Coalition program is Administered by Redwood Community Services, Inc.