Youth in Ventura County

The countywide report of the California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) indicates a hopeful decline in Lifetime Misuse of Rx drugs. However, prevention of Rx drug and heroin abuse continues to be a challenge for Ventura County youth and their families, and a focal point of the workgroup.

CHKS ASKS: During your life, how many times have you used Rx painkillers, tranquilizers or sedatives to get “high” for reasons other than medical?

chks chart

“Those initiating nonmedical use of prescription opioids at ages 10-12 years had the highest risk of transitioning to heroin use.”  – Journal of Pediatrics (2015)


VCOE provided two secondary schools with support in Prescription Drug and Heroin prevention education measures. The Prescription Drug Media Campaign targeted high-school age youth, to impact awareness, prescription drug use and intended behaviors. The project attempts to demonstrate changes in perception of harm, increased awareness of known risks, and associated levels of drug use. Parent brochures in Spanish and English provide families with tips on identifying and understanding painkiller and heroin abuse.

BUZZ KILL, a two-site pilot program for site-specific Rx drug and heroin prevention and education, introduced the risks of sharing medication. Data-driven and youth focus group-informed graphic novels and posters developed by students. Evaluation was initiated to measure the goal of a 25% reduction in 30-day opioid use.

> View Buzz Kill

> View Mia Won't Get to U



Based on the High School Outreach Campaign, here is a Toolkit to use when talking about prescription painkillers at schools. These graphic stories and talking points are targeted to students, and help to start the conversation about the risks of prescription painkiller use by teens. The Toolkit includes:

  • Two graphic stories – Buzz Kill and Mia Won’t Get to U
  • Posters for use in classrooms and on school campus
  • Booklets for use in counselor office waiting rooms
  • Talking points for teachers
  • Materials available in English and Spanish


Source: California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) Results 2015-16

The results of the 2015-16 California Healthy Kids Survey (CHKS) for Ventura County were released in December of 2016 and they show many positive trends for local students.
View highlights for Ventura County:

©2018 Ventura County Behavioral Health • Hanstad Consulting • Website: Idea Engineering
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