Program Impact Data

Misuse and overuse of illicit and non-illicit drugs among Wisconsin adolescents has increased. While significant progress has been made to address this issue within population dense regions of the state, many rural communities struggle to establish effective recovery support services. The purpose of this brief review is to summarize some of the major differences that likely contribute to teenage substance misuse and disorders within urban and rural communities. In addition, we will review urban rehabilitative approaches and discuss how these may, or may not, be effective in rural settings. Finally, we will highlight a novel approach of peer leadership through “RISE TOGETHER”, and how this approach may be uniquely positioned to address substance misuse and disorders amongst rural adolescents. In this report you will be able to…

  • Review changes in teenage drug use within Wisconsin
  • Discuss some of risk factors associated with urban vs rural teenage drug use
  • Discuss recovery methods that are currently being implemented within urban communities. Reflect on how these approaches may not be well suited for rural communities.
  • Summarize “RISE TOGETHER”; origins, approach, effectiveness.
  • Summarize rural adolescent substance misuse and disorders and effectiveness of peer support services

We would like to share the youth research that we have collected over the past 3 years in an academic study called:

RT Youth Urban and Rural Survey Presentation


Previous Studies Below


Since 2014, Rise Together has surveyed over 8,000 students across 53 counties, where we have found an overwhelming amount of young people that are affected by significant trauma, large amounts of stress, substance use disorders, self-harm, suicidal tendencies, and other mental & behavioral health conditions.

Research shows that Rise Together’s educational school-speaking program is doing much more than just helping students Rise up & overcome the challenges they face…..

  • 80% of students surveyed indicated that they are now less likely to use drugs & alcohol after seeing a Rise Together presentation (wow!!).
  • Nearly 100% of students stated that Rise Together’s presentation left a positive impact on them.
  • 92% would like to see the presentation or something from RT again.
  • 61% more likely to get involved in the community.
  • 82% more likely to follow their dreams & goals

Key findings:

  • 1 of 2 of Wisconsin students who’ve tried risky substances continue using, putting them at risk of developing a substance use disorder
  • Students state that an increase in school prevention, intervention and education strategies as critical to combating the drug epidemic in Wisconsin
  • Most students use for the first time out of curiosity or because their friends use.
  • Students cite high stress and challenges with self-esteem as major detriments to health and well-being, making substance use and abuse is a multi-faceted issue.
  • Despite the health risk, many students don’t see use of risky substances as a significant problem.

It is crucial that our communities help to increase access to school-based prevention and education programs to address substance abuse in Wisconsin communities. INVITE RISE TOGETHER TO YOUR COMMUNITY NOW. 



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