We Bring Southington Together to Build Assets and Prevent Substance Misuse

Our Mission

STEPS makes prevention a priority in our community through education, limiting access, and advocacy for policy change.

Our prevention work focuses on underage drinking, tobacco/vaping, cannabis/marijuana use, prescription drug misuse, and more. We believe that positive youth development is an essential building block to create generations of youth that are caring, competent, successful, and substance free.

Our Focus on Youth

STEPS was founded in 2007 with a mission to help our youth grow up to be caring, competent and successful. We develop programs and opportunities for young people to step up and showcase their best selves.

STEPS partners with Southington Public Schools to follow an Asset Building Classrooms (ABC) model. We also have STEPS Youth Council leadership opportunities, a youth community service initiative, and a classroom-based curriculum to improve student health and safety.

STEPS Youth Council

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Stay informed about our latest prevention efforts, news, and events.


Our Prevention Efforts

Our work in Southington to keep young people healthy and safe is a top priority. Data shows that substance use at a young age can lead to:

  • Higher suicide risk
  • Long-term substance use disorders
  • Mental health concerns (anxiety, depression, psychosis)
  • Poor school performance (lower grades, absenteeism)
  • Physical health issues (diseases, injuries)
  • Risky behaviors
  • Social and economic impacts (damaged relationships, missed career opportunities)

All these reasons are why substance use prevention among young people is so important. Take a moment to learn more about our work in Southington right now.

Areas of Focus

In both youth and adults, the perceptions around the risk of marijuana use has decreased dramatically. This is true not only in Connecticut but all over the United States. Some of this shift is in response to changes in social policies and laws.

It is risky to misuse prescription medications or obtain medications that are not provided by a doctor or other medical professional. This is a main cause of preventable overdoses.

Although tobacco use among youth in Southington is decreasing  – only 7% of Southington teens report using tobacco products – the usage of vaping products is on the rise.

Many activities have ages when young people can safely start them. A person must wait until age 16 to start driving, age 18 to marry without parental consent, age 35 to become president, and so on. The legal age to drink is 21 for a reason – it is based on research that shows young people react differently to alcohol.

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The Southington Behavioral Health Resource Directory is a comprehensive guide to behavioral health and community resources including outpatient and inpatient care for children, adolescents, and adults, as well as details about confidential assessments, short and long-term counseling, psychotherapy, family therapy, and mental health treatment. The directory also includes information about accessing transportation and food as well as new information regarding drug collection drop boxes, treatment for opioid misuse, health services, and advocacy.
Find the link to the directory and other mental health resources at loom.ly/iYxaqyw
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@stepsyouthcouncil were busy this morning hosting another STEPS Story time at the @southington_library! They read the book Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon and helped the kiddos make pasta necklaces inspired by the book.

YC will be back at SPL on April 6 to read The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak. Join us!
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@stepsyouthcouncil were busy this morning hosting another STEPS Story time at the @southington_library! They read the book Busy Betty by Reese Witherspoon and helped the kiddos make pasta necklaces inspired by the book. 

YC will be back at SPL on April 6 to read The Book with No Pictures by BJ Novak. Join us!Image attachmentImage attachment

🚨ALERT! 🚨
A loophole in CT laws is allowing manufacturers to produce and sell THC infused seltzers in markets and package stores - with NO age restriction.
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🚨ALERT! 🚨
A loophole in CT laws is allowing manufacturers to produce and sell THC infused seltzers in markets and package stores - with NO age restriction.Image attachmentImage attachment

A big shoutout to our Youth Council members who spent their Sunday filming a video for the Elks Drug Awareness Program contest! 🎥 Over the last few week they collaborated to develop a concept, characters, and script. It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone (or to hear your voice on video) and we couldn’t be more proud of our students who did just that! ... See MoreSee Less

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These young people are prevention rock stars. Today’s young people give me so much hope for our collective future. They are open-minded, eager to learn, eager to contribute and support their communities. When the world feels a little crazy, i see these strengths and “assets” and know good things are happening and will continue. ❤️😎❤️

Shout-out to Officer Verab, the Asset Building Officer assigned to Derynoski! 🍎 Not only does she teach C3 to all of the fifth graders, she builds relationships with every student. You can spot her (and the Derynoski Dragon!) at special assemblies and school events. Thanks for being an asset builder, Officer Verab! ... See MoreSee Less

Shout-out to Officer Verab, the Asset Building Officer assigned to Derynoski! 🍎 Not only does she teach C3 to all of the fifth graders, she builds relationships with every student. You can spot her (and the Derynoski Dragon!) at special assemblies and school events. Thanks for being an asset builder, Officer Verab!
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