The SpeakUP! Prevention Coalition is a grassroots community anti-drug coalition, managed by LEAD and funded in part by a Federal Drug Free Communities grant.  For the past 8 years, SpeakUP! has worked with all sectors of the Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Knollwood, IL communities on environmental change strategies to discourage underage drinking and drug use.  By collaborating with both adults and youth, SpeakUP! and its partners have significantly reduced the levels of alcohol and drug use among teens.  We are making a difference, and you can too! We hope you’ll join our efforts!

Our efforts are making a difference to our local community. Check out how substance use rates have declined among high school students in our community in the past 2 years. The data below reflects percent of decline among all high school students combined from 2010 to 2016. * New dataset will be captured during the Spring of 2018.


Percent of Decline in Past 30-Day Alcohol Use (2010 to 2016)


Percent of Decline in Past 30-Day Marijuana Use (2010 to 2016)


Percent of Decline in Past 30-Day Rx Use (2010 to 2016)


In 2006, local high school students took a survey about their attitudes and usage-habits of drugs and alcohol. The results of these surveys indicated that students in our community were drinking at levels significantly above regional and national levels.  In collaboration with LEAD, a group of concerned citizens formed a task force in December 2006 to examine these issues. The task force, now known as the SpeakUP! Prevention Coalition has now grown to over 100 people who are committed to being part of the solution to reduce underage alcohol and drug use. In 2008 and 2010, students in grades 6-12 were surveyed again, and the results confirmed the need for continued action.

In 2010, the SpeakUP! Prevention Coalition was awarded a federal Drug Free Communities grant.  With members from across all sectors of the community, the coalition uses a data-driven approach to achieve results.  Using data from the biannual Illinois Youth Survey, and collaboration with all community sectors, our coalition is able to disseminate the following:

  1. The predominant youth substance abuse issues in our community (i.e. alcohol, marijuana, prescription drugs, etc.)
  2. The root causes of these issues
  3. Workable prevention strategies
  4. Areas most in need of enforcement or cultural/environmental change
  5. How to call the community to action


Our goal is to achieve the mission with community-wide, best-practice initiatives in education, communication, enforcement and support to change the culture and environment of underage drinking and drug use in communities of Lake Forest, Lake Bluff and Knollwood, IL.

Specific objectives of the coalition:

  • Increase community collaboration and raise awareness and understanding of the extent of the underage drinking and drug use problem in the community, including the risks/consequences of drinking for youth and for parents.
  • Engage the entire community (parents, government, churches, schools, athletic organizations, clubs, civic groups, etc.) in the effort to significantly reduce underage drinking and drug use.
  • Reduce availability of alcohol and other drugs to youth.
  • Increase the support for youth to be alcohol and drug free and to pursue healthy lifestyles.