• Prevention Services began needs assessment process in 2013 – 2015 focus groups conducted (DFC Mentoring Grant)
  • 2016 mandate from DBHDS- Office of Behavioral Health Wellness – identified structure, processes and resources. Deadline 12/31/16.


  • Data sources expanded:
  1. Key informant interviews
  2. Community Readiness Assessment (5 Dimensions)
  3. Coalition Readiness Assessment* (5 Dimensions)
  4. Parent ATOD Attitudes Survey (n=312)*
  5. Pride Survey Questionnaire for Grades 6 -12* (n=3,217)
  6. DBHDS Social Indicators Study Dashboard
  7. Resource Data

Summary of Findings:

  • Henrico Area (combined data adults and youth)
  1. Sources –Uniform Crime Report, Dept of Forensic Science
  2. Heroin on the rise since 2012- other major substances (Rx opioids, marijuana, cocaine)
  3. Young adults 21-24; 35-44
  4. Concern from focus groups and key informants about substance abuse in community
  • Youth (12-17)
  1. Sources – Dept. of Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Probation
  2. Primary substances are marijuana, alcohol and opioids
  3. Substance use increasing since 2014
  4. Youth are increasingly entering the Juvenile Justice System with substance-related offenses
  5. Confirmation of concern from focus groups and key informants about youth substance use
  • Survey Data for Henrico
  1. Sources – Pride Survey Questionnaire, Parent ATOD Attitudes Survey
  2. Henrico youth 30-day use rates below Virginia Youth Survey rates for 2015
  3. Primary substances used include marijuana, alcohol and prescription drugs.
  4. Perception of less risk regarding marijuana use than for tobacco, alcohol or prescription drugs.
  5. Both Henrico students and parents/caregivers perceive cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana easy for youth to get. Alcohol perceived as most available, followed by marijuana, tobacco and lastly prescription drugs.
  6. The perception of availability of alcohol and marijuana increases as the students get older and presumably more socially mobile.
  7. 90% of parents surveyed (n=312) – misperception of own child’s use
  8. Those youth identified as currently or possibly using ranged in age from 14-17.
  9. Most parents/caregivers believed that substance use/abuse negatively affects the health of under-age youth. However, e-cigarettes and marijuana perceived as less negative health effects.
  10. More than 1/4 of parents/caregivers admitted to “never” addressing youth substance use with child; 17-22% rarely spoke of the topic.
  11. One-third of parents/caregivers interviewed were unsure or would not give consequences if their child used substances.
  12. Two thirds of parents/caregivers perceived themselves as having little influence over their child, overwhelmingly deferring to peers as having the greatest influence.
  13. Despite the perceived greater influence of peers, 1/4 parents/caregivers reported they “never” knew who their teen was with or where they went within the past 30 days.

Resources/Protective Factors:

  • Youth and Families Community Resource Guide
  • Heroin/Opioid Task Force
  • Henrico Too Smart 2 Start Coalition
  • Henrico – youth specific
Connect After-School Program
Henrico Police Athletic League
YMCA After-School programs
Community in Schools
Henrico Education Foundation
Recreation & Parks



Increase community awareness and commitment to prevention

Prevent substance use among adolescents

Reduce accessibility for youth

  • Prescriber education, safe storage and disposal of Rx drugs
  • Substance access via family members and community (youth)

Collaboration between school, parents and community to create healthy norms/ promote community wellness through a strategic planning process.