We are a substance abuse prevention organization, and we believe young people are capable of making good decisions.

Text-A-Tip

Learn more about this innovative, 24/7 mental health text help line now operational to more than 5 million people across the United States.
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Leave it to LEAD

If you need a substance abuse prevention program in your school or community, you can leave it to us! Learn about the many things we offer.

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Your Voice Matters

Your voice matters, and you can take action! We need you to share your voice on both State and Federal legislative issues.

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Lake County Opioid Initiative

LEAD is a prominent member of the Lake County Opioid Initiative and has been involved in the development and creation of many of its forward-thinking models – namely Text-A-Tip and the A Way Out Program. Learn more.

A Way Out is a Lake County, Illinois Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion pilot program, designed to fast-track users to substance abuse programs and services. This program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at participating police departments across Lake County and ensures no criminal charges will be sought for those that may be in possession of narcotics or paraphernalia, as long as assistance is sought out by the prospective program participant.
Text-A-Tip is an innovative, 24/7 mental health text help line now operational to more than 5 million people across the United States.  Click here to learn more.

Looking for Naloxone for your home, school or community? We can help!  Learn more about our training and how we can get Naloxone to you.

Learn more about Naloxone here.

SMART Recovery is a self-help program with tools to help you change unhealthy habits such as drinking, drug use, or help with other stuff that’s holding yo back.  This safe, non-judgmental zone emphasizes personal choice with the goal to move on with your life after overcoming the challenges you now face. This will be the first SMART Recovery group for teens in Illinois. Click here to learn more.

The Lake County Help mobile app was developed by LEAD and is intended for residents of Lake County, IL and surrounding communities. Included in this app is access to a 24/7 anonymous text crisis line (Text-A-Tip), access to the law enforcement assisted diversion drug treatment program (A Way Out), signs and symptoms of an overdose, and information about Naloxone (Narcan) and the Illinois Good Samaritan law.  Click here below to download the app via iTunes or Google Play

Social Media for Prevention Conference in St. Petersburg, FL – January 17, 2018

The Social Media Conference for Substance Prevention fuses trends and tactics with technology and the truth about substance use from varying perspectives. This conference is designed to teach...
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Saving Lives: How You Can Help today on #GivingTuesday

This #GivingTuesday there are many organizations asking for your support. So, what sets LEAD apart?  We are literally saving lives.  Your contribution will be put to use to continue these...
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A Note from the Executive Director – Our Impact, Measured

Dear Friend, We are in the midst of the busiest few weeks of LEAD's history.  While this time of year is typically busier than the rest, I'm not sure we were prepared for what has been accomplished...
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A Note from the Executive Director – September 13, 2017

A Note from the Executive Director Greetings, This past summer was the busiest summer that we've had at LEAD since I began as Executive Director in May 2012.  While we normally spend much of the...
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Register Now for the Illinois Coalitions Marijuana Summit

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Media Coverage

Check out some of the latest media coverage we have received, including print, digital and television.  Click on each icon to see a collection of samples from each outlet.

Total App Downloads

Population Served by Text-A-Tip

States that Have Hosted LEAD Programs

Our Concept

Our basic concept is that we know that most young people are capable of making good decisions and that youth substance use is preventable in communities! We use an evidence-based, environmental approach to substance abuse prevention where we work with all community sectors to ensure that we are creating the safest community possible for our young people.  When we use a multi-sector approach, allow data to drive our actions, build up positive assets and allow young people to have a voice, then we know we are on the right track.

Our Method

LEAD has developed several methods that enable us to have a significant impact on the communities we serve. We are one of the few organizations who can provide quality and impactful programming for both youth and adults.  Our methods include large and small group presentations, hands-on exhibits, relationship-building (we want to know you so that we can help you), and innovative technologies to get people the help they need at the exact moment they need it. We believe that proper communication, effective listening and positive adult-teen relationships should be at the forefront of everything we do.

Our Approach

Prevention is more than simply educating people on the harms of drug use.  While education tries to change what people know, prevention works to change what people do.  We take a very positive approach to drug prevention, and we believe that the upside of making a positive choice outweighs the downside of making a negative choice.  Our programs and events represent an ongoing process of positive engagement that we hope will continually keep our community (and your community) aware of the current drug, alcohol and social trends that are affecting our youth.