Health Policies and Systems focuses on prevention work aimed at reducing alcohol, tobacco and other drug use by youth (middle- and high-school students) and young adults. The program leverages the partnerships of community partners to maximize impact in our community. Projected outcomes include a reduction in the frequency of youth alcohol consumption, reduction in number of tobacco users, and an increase in number of developmental assets self-reported by youth.

Current Programming
  • Celebrating Community Norms is an initiative that allows us here at the San Juan Basin Health Department to broaden our focus to address the use of alcohol and other drugs which often accompany the use of tobacco. Our goal is to increase developmental assets among youth and young adults by positively impacting perceptions and community norms regarding substance use.

  • Lasso Tobacco
    • For nearly 20 years, the Lasso Tobacco Project has been working to promote health by addressing tobacco use through a combination of education, advocacy and policy. As a result, the smoking rate in La Plata County has been reduced by more than 24 percent.
    • On November 5th, 2012 a public hearing at City Council was held for a city ordinance, proposed by the LTC, which strengthens the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act by banning cigarette smoking in public spaces within city limits. Due to the hard work and dedication of our coalition members, including the Torch Club of the Boys and Girls Club of La Plata County, smoking is now banned in all city owned parks, playgrounds, bus stops, sports fields, and along the Animas River Trail!
  • The Dragon Youth Project was a prevention program offered through SJBHD, standing for Developing Real Assets through Guidance, Opportunities & Knowledge. The DRAGON Youth Project was funded by Colorado Alcohol and Drug Abuse Division and the Law Enforcement Assistance Fund.

Resources for Parents and Mentors

Developmental Assets

The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets are concrete, common sense, positive experiences and qualities essential to raising successful young people. These assets have the power during critical adolescent years to influence choices young people make and help them become thriving adults.

Over time, studies of more than 2.2 million young people consistently show that the more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors and the more likely they are to thrive. Research has proven that youth with the most assets are least likely to engage in four different patterns of high-risk behavior, including problem alcohol use, violence, illicit drug use, and sexual activity. The same kind of impact is evident with many other problem behaviors, including tobacco use, depression and attempted suicide, antisocial behavior, school problems, driving and alcohol, and gambling.

For more information about Developmental Assets visit

For age appropriate Developmental Assets lists with action steps click here.

Checkout these other resources: