Colorado Meth Project Inc., doing business as Rise Above Colorado, is a drug abuse prevention organization that measurably impacts teen perceptions and attitude about the risks of substance abuse to help youth make empowered, healthy choices. Our vision is to empower teens to lead a life free of drug abuse.
Founded in 2008, the Colorado Meth Project has delivered an integrated prevention program aimed at significantly reducing Meth use through public messaging and community outreach. Since Attorney General John Suthers and Governor Bill Ritter marked its public launch in May 2009, the Colorado Meth Project's research-based prevention program has helped drive measurable changes in teen attitudes and behaviors around Meth. 91% of Colorado teens see great risk in trying Meth (up 12 points from the 2009 benchmark). In addition, according to the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, teen Meth use in Colorado is down 50% since the Colorado Meth Project started, now at its lowest level (2.0%) since the survey began tracking the drug in 1999.
Launched in January 2014 and based on the success of the Colorado Meth Project, Rise Above Colorado is a substance use prevention organization that measurably impacts teen perceptions and attitudes about the risks of substance abuse to help youth make empowered, healthy choices and lead a life free of drug misuse and addiction. Rise Above delivers youth-focused programs about drug use and addiction, including specific efforts about methamphetamine and prescription drugs, as well as general messaging about positive, healthy alternatives to substance use.
We all need something or someone to help us "rise above." When I first discovered Rise Above Colorado I didn't know how much the organization would change me and my outlook on life.
I joined Rise Above's Teen Action Council as a high school sophomore and from the first day I heard the personal stories about the impact of drug addiction I knew that I wanted to do everything I could to help this organization and cause. During my three years I was able to educate Colorado youth about the dangers of substance use and addiction while also celebrating the healthy choices most teens make by embracing our passions and natural highs. Through Rise Above Colorado I helped create and facilitate statewide youth summits that helped teens build life skills like confidence. I was making a difference.
But I also needed help and Rise Above was there for me. Due to multiple events during my sophomore year, I was depressed. I suffered for months in pain and loneliness. I would cry for hours and lost interest in everything I loved. I continued life with a mask on and I didn't know what I needed to help me heal until I attended one of Rise Above's Teen Council meetings. That day we were being trained on how to talk to a friend in need and we were practicing it as a group with each other. I shared what I was going through, tears and all. My Rise Above family helped me talk through it and that was the beginning of my healing process.
Rise Above has not only helped me but also let me share my experience with depression to help others. This year our Teen Council built a new "by teens, for teens" website (IRiseAboveCO.org) to give Colorado youth the facts and tools to make healthy choices and I wrote a piece on depression. I think it's so important that our site doesn't just address substance use, but also mental health issues like depression that can lead to addiction.
I'm proof that Rise Above Colorado is making an impact on our state's youth, whether they receive our resources online, in school, or through our Teen Council. I am so proud to have been part of such an organization and now to be able to give back. I founded my own nonprofit organization that held a fundraiser for Rise Above this year and I hope you'll join me in supporting the organization during this season of giving.
And when you give this year, your contribution will be matched, creating double the impact! Through a special grant, the Office of Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will match all private donations dollar-for-dollar up to $200,000, using funds from settlements with pharmaceutical companies. Thank you for your support!!
Teen Action Council member, 2014-17